Beans beat boredom? - Dec 15, 2009

During the Christmas break the kids will get bored pretty quickly if you don't keep them busy. Why don't you get them to help you build a vegetable garden? Scientists have discovered the easiest way to get children to eat vegetables is to teach them how to grow them. Scientists have also discovered if children eat more vegetables they have less behavioural problems.

I have had great success getting my children to eat green beans using this method. We planted the climbing round beans from seed about 8 weeks ago and now the vines are 2 metres high and covered in fruit. The kids love eating them raw picked fresh from the vines.

As a kid I hated cooked beans because they were soft ,soggy and tasteless. Today I cook them Italian style in one cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of water. Boil the beans until they change colour. They should be still a little bit crunchy. Drain off the water then stir in olive oil and 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic . They are delicious hot or cold and my children love eating them.
Beans can be planted over Christmas and you will be eating them in February. If you don't have any wire to support the vines then plant dwarf beans instead.

If you need advice on soil preparation visit your local garden centre.
Tim Pickles is a CNP horticulturist and director of Tim's Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown 46267022.