Make a Bean Teepee. - The Magic Onions

Make a Bean Teepee.

Time for a little honesty here… the truth is my kids struggle to eat vegetables. Let me tell you, we are a relatively health conscious family… I have offered sweet carrots, delicious corn and even frozen peas from the time my children were mere babies and yet, would you know, they often refuse to eat anything green, orange or yellow. The old adage of offering a food option 20 times before it is accepted has been surpassed long ago in our house… try 978 times! Still, healthy greens are rejected in favor of other, less healthy, foods. But, and it’s a BIG but, my children will eat anything we grow in our garden… green, yellow, red and even purple! If only we lived on a huge farm where I could grow all the food we needed to survive… my children would be the healthiest kids on the block!
Alas, we don’t… we live in the middle of one of the busiest metropolises in the world and my ‘vegetable growing’ land is very minimal. So, when my friend suggested that we concentrate on growing easy and prolifically producing vegetables, I wondered why I had tried to grow exotic and unusual vegetables for all these years? Why not grow the things I know my children will eat straight from the bush?
So, tomatoes and green beans it is!
Beans need to climb which is great if you don’t have much horizontal space… onto the tools we got to make a bean teepee.
We needed;
* Bamboo sticks,
* Bendy wire (galvanized so as not to rust)
* Pliers (or, if you are like me and cant find yours, old garden scissors will do)
* Bean plants
*A nice big pot

Place the bamboo sticks in a teepee shape and fix by wrapping a length of wire around them.

Cut another length of wire, larger this time, and fix a loop around the teepee frame for the climbing bean plants to attach to.

Repeat until you have 3 or 4 wrungs on your bean teepee.

Sink the bottom of the teepee into the soil – an old whiskey barrel in our case.
Plant bean plants and water profusely. Beans are very hardy… these particular plants were pulled out and replanted several times by an overenthusiastic little garden helper (Mr T has found a new passion to add to his love of playing his pink guitar, fishing in the fountain and riding his sisters scooter).
Look at our bean plants now, a few weeks later…
I wonder if we’ll ever get to eat them at dinnertime as a bean is picked each and every time someone from my family walks past this lush-looking planter. They are super delicious – who says you have to eat your vegetables at suppertime??
Happy planting!
Blessing and magic,
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. What a fun idea! Just to make you feel better, my kids don’t really eat veggies either (well except my youngest), and that 20 presentations thing is total bull.

  2. You have probably already heard about green smoothies (greens blended with fruit). My kids 3 and 1 love them and chug them down with glee.If you have not already you might look into them to help “sneak” some more greens in.

  3. This is such a good idea. I want to help my girls start a garden of their own. I have read that kids will eat what they grow. Thanks for sharing!

  4. We use jewt (twine) for things like that. It seems to work well.
    Happy gardening!! :)

  5. I have a bean teepee on my list of ideas for the yard. I’d like to make the teepee large enough for them to crawl into, but I may be over ambitious.

    My children love to harvest the vegetables with me, but eating all of them? Not yet, not so much.

  6. my girls would turn their noses up at green beans when i prepared them for dinner. since growing our own however, i never find enough to pick for dinner as they are out there most every afternoon “snacking”. fine by me! those and the lettuce from the winter never make it indoors. ;)

    love your teepees!!

  7. We made these when our children were young, cheers Marie

  8. It looks great so far! love, Beth

  9. Fresh beans for snacks are better than sugary or salty snacks, and yes, it does count towards the 5 a day!!

  10. Oh yep, that kind of grazing is so good. I remember picking a bag of sugar peas as a kid and hiding htem under my bed to eat at night! Can you imagine! Great blog!

  11. Loved this post – we’re growing in barrels too and they are the perfect height for little ones to reach.
    Re the veggie eating thing – I have a couple of suggestions too as I have a toddler who has phases of eating things and then not (and denying she ever ate them). We have eating rainbows (make a rainbow out of fruit and vegetable on their plate and sing the rainbow song). We have miniature fairy gardens (finely shredded lettuce for grass, carrot flowers, celery trees (very fun if you can pop them in some beetroot juice to start changing colour too) and so on. I have also found that serving size and how much of other things they have on offer really makes a difference. I give enough that she is hungry enough to eat it all and she doesn’t pick through, just munches it all up. The best two tips I ever got from some matriarchs of mine are:

    *No one can resist eating something they cook themselves (kids love this)

    * Don’t panic about that meal or that day, look at their food intake over a couple of days and you will see a bigger picture.
    Take Care :)

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