Search This Blog

Subscribe By Email

Get Blog Posts Sent by Email

About This Blog

How to Comment on Blog Posts

The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


On days when I go for my early morning walk in the country near the village where I live, I pass several fields of beans. This time of year, the leaves on the beanstalks are turning yellow and falling off as the crop ripens, and one can easily see the pods of beans hanging below them on the stock. One morning I got to wondering, “How many beans grow on each stock? My curiosity got the better of me, or perhaps I just have OCD tendencies, and I had to stop and count.

It turns out (according to my unscientific experiment) that in this field, there are an average of 30 or more pods on each stock. For the sake of easy calculation, lets say there are 33. It also appears that each pod contains three beans, which means that each bean planted produced about 100 beans. Not bad!

What does 100 beans look like? How much is that? Not much! If you go to the pantry, find the bag of dried beans and count them out, you can easily hold 100 beans in the palm of your hand. It is perhaps 1/8 cup. If you cooked them, it wouldn’t even make a meal for one.

Well then, how many beans does the farmer plant in a square foot? The answer appears to be roughly 10. That means he gets about 1,000 beans per square foot. What does that look like? Well, you would now have a little more than a cup of beans, so if you cooked them, at least you would have enough for a meal, however that is still not worth the trouble is it? Our farmer had better plant by the acre, not by the square foot.

Well how many beans would a farmer plant in an acre? It turns out to be roughly 200,000, and his yield might be roughly 50 bushels per acre in Ontario. (No, I have absolutely no idea how many beans there are in a bushel!) A 10 acre field would therefore produce around 500 bushels of beans. The farmer could eat all he wanted, have lots to sell or share with others, and even some to keep for planting again next year. (Yes, I know he buys fresh seed each year, but don’t ruin the illustration, alright? We have a story going here.) Life is good!

But what if the farmer had said, “I have 200,000 beans; that’s enough to keep me eating beans all year, I don’t think I’ll bother planting any this year”? What if he said, “I am alright, and to heck with everybody else”? The farmer would be fine, but nobody else would have the benefit of his beans to feed themselves or their families. Sad day.

What kind of beans are you planting? How many do we plant? Do we plant by the individual seed, by the square foot, or by the acre? Whatever beans we have, do we have lots to share with others, or do we keep them all to ourselves? Think about it.

Posted by Carman


  1. I made a pot o baked beans this weekend. Using Great Northern Beans. I made plenty for everyone and to spare. The secret: chopped jalepenos.

  2. Chopped Jalepenos, okay now my mouth is watering! Sounds delicious.

    Always nice to hear from you Chicken!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.