4 hours ago
Build nutrient-rich soil with beans 🌿🍃 Not only do beans provide a happy green home for lizards, they also have a symbiotic (give and take) friendship with rhizobia bacteria.This soil-dwelling bacteria enters the roots and multiples to form little clusters called nodules. The bean plant doesn't mind because rhizobia solve a critical problem for leguminous plants and all life. Nitrogen is essential to life, but the nitrogen gas, N2 that makes up 80% of the Earth's atmosphere is unusable by most living things. Rhizobia converts N2 into the usable form NH3, and gives it to the plant in return for energy and nutrients. We grow cow peas, pinto beans and black beans, but there are many leguminous plants, even trees, that do wonders for the soil. At the end of the growing season, chop the plant and leave it in the garden. The nitrogen, now in a usable form, in the plants' roots, stalk and leaves will be steadily released to the soil while you plant the next crop. Some of the nitrogen will "leak" out of the roots during the plant's lifetime, therefore it's not a bad idea to grow beans near nitrogen-loving plants. Best of all, beans are so easy to grow, we often find them sprouting in the path after being misplaced. Our bodies are made up of soil, therefore healthy soil is the foundation of healthy bodies and minds. Wendell Berry put it best in Unsettling America, "The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life."