How Many Beans…

My Dad has a  good saying about beans:

“The 8th of May the beans will stay”

I’m not sure if he made it up, but he always sowed his runner beans on or after the 8th… and we always had tonnes of runner beans!

Well, I only have a few plants. I sowed them early in containers, so they’re sprouting already. It’s the first time I’ve tried growing them, so we will see…

Another of my Dad’s sayings:

How many beans make five?

A bean, a bean, and a half a bean, a bean and a half, and a bean!

(I have inherited my Dad’s sense of humour! 😉 )


By the way, in German, if someone refuses to listen (especially to advice) they are said to have beans in their ears. (Sie hat Bohnen in den Ohren -She’s got beans in her ears)! I suppose we would just say in English “She never listens!”

28 thoughts on “How Many Beans…

  1. I like the country reference to beans in ears, it points to a simpler time. I have heard of “clean the wax from your ears”. The crude urban way of saying someone doesn’t listen is “They are obstinate” more of a reference to pride.

    Thanks for your post!

  2. My dad used to say the same thing about “Beans in your ears”. His other favorite was,” You’re full of beans!” meaning you were just making stuff up…
    Two more weeks before I plant my pole beans!

  3. Great post Cathy. To me, beans are fun to grow. I have planted Scarlet Runner beans these last 3 or so years. My kids have grown them for Science Fair experiments. They look so darn hopeful sprouting out of the ground. 😉

    • Hi Strawberryindigo. They are fun! I was so excited when they appeared… now I understand why my Dad loved growing them so much! 🙂

  4. I tried planting a few bean seeds that I had saved…planted them in peat pucks. They came up quickly and are now in 4 inch pots and getting flower buds. I’ll be transplanting into large pots until they can go into our garden in Maine at the end of the month.

  5. Good luck with the beans! I´m sure your dad´s right and they will stay. Have you heard the song “Bohnen in die Ohren” by Gus Backus? Very funny!

    • Don’t know the song. But I’ve just remembered some cute stuffed animals my niece used to collect called “Beanie Babies”! LOL!

  6. I think this one works better in British English than in American English. Over here, been is pronounced like bin, but I’m under the impression that over there been sounds the same as bean (please let me know if that’s not the case).

    • In fact we use both in speech – “bean” is perhaps more formal – although there are regions where in dialect only “bin” is heard. (For example my auntie from the east of Northamptonshire says “I’m bin up tarn” for “I’ve been to town” … 😉 )

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