Greenhouses are places filled with hope and touched with magic.  On a cold, snowy February day, walking into my greenhouse is like waking into spring. Filling flats with my own potting soil, placing seeds into that lovely soil, adding a label, and watering everything fills me with hope and expectation for good things to come.  Those good things will feed my family until next year when spring happens once again in the middle of winter

My greenhouse is my happy place! And this year I’m exceptionally grateful for it since here in Tennessee we are experiencing winter nights in the low 30s right now!

OH.. the magic? Besides experiencing spring in the middle of winter? Think about it – we take little hard, dried seeds (some the size of pepper!). We stick them in dirt and add some water…what we are really planting is Hope.  Hope for a harvest, for food, for winter sustenance…hope that the darn things will actually sprout, turn green and provide us with yummy food, beautiful flowers, herbs to flavor our food and even herbs for medicine!

These are Jacob’s Cattle Beans. We plant a variety of beans – some for fresh eating, some for canning and some of the dried bean varieties.  Jacob’s Cattle, Turtle Beans, Calypso Beans (my kids called them Shamu beans!). If you are growing a garden this year, be sure to save room for a row of dried beans of your choice. Dried beans are easy to store and they feed us through the winter in soups, stews and other dishes! Beans go from this….

My Greenhouse! Full of Hope & Magic!

Jacob’s Cattle Beans

My Greenhouse! Full of Hope & Magic!

Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans

to this…pretty darn fast.  The fact that those little dried bean seeds burst forth with such green goodness is amazing to me each year! That one bean plant will fill tummies, canning jars and pots of chili, stew or soup for years if you save some of the seed!

One watermelon will provide you with enough seeds to grow hundreds of watermelons…in fact you’ll have a lifetime of plants if you just save some seed each year!  Magic!

We don’t think twice…plant a seed and our hope and expectation is that it will burst forth with life!

When you are planting this year, stop and  appreciate the goodness that comes from a packet of seed!

My favorite varieties?

Pole beans (climbing beans that need support): Kentucky Wonder and Rattlesnake.

Bush beans: Provider and Blue Lake

Dried beans: Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier, Calypso, Great Northern, Turtle, Maine Yellow Eye and Cranberry.

What bean varieties are you planting this year?