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Plan B(ean)

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– A joyful and down to earth response to the challenges of climate change

Germination of a Plan

Plan B(ean) was born in 2019 when Wind and Joan began a conversation about how we could respond collectively and joyfully to the challenging times ahead, as Plan “A” (business as usual) is clearly not working!

Inspired by Dan Jason’s book* and talk on “The Power of Pulses,” Heidi, Lisa, and Heather joined in, and together the five of us, all experienced gardeners, launched a collective project to trial varieties of pulses under local conditions to see if we could grow enough to supply our four families and (hopefully) even more.

* Dan Jason was a guest speaker at Seedy Saturday on Denman Island in 2019.

Our First Growing Season (2020)

Based at the Snag (5400 Northwest Rd. on Denman) we trialed about 25 varieties of pulses in the beanfield, a 30×60 plot with relatively poor soil but lots of potential. We grew bush beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. (map of beans attached in word doc)

Although our yields weren’t super inspiring that first year, we identified some issues with variety suitability, watering, soil quality, and moisture retention and are hoping to improve our yields by addressing those issues this year.

2021

So, for the 2021 season we are selecting best suited varieties, installing drip irrigation, enhancing soil quality, planting with an inoculant, planning for heavier mulching and experimenting with a trellis system. It is truly a work in progress, and we are learning a lot as we go.

Our Vision

Even at this small scale, we envision Plan B(ean) as a joyful and down to earth response to the challenges of climate change. We enjoy the conviviality, learning, collective work, consensus decision making, and just plain fun we have in the beanfield and beyond.

Sharing our experiences

We are happy to share our experience so far with others.

Please contact us if you:

  • want to be shown the project (in season).
  • are interested in joining one of our work parties.
  • are inspired to organize more trials at another site.
  • would like us to give a presentation of our project to another organization.

Participating in the ‘Denman Feeding Denman’ adventure

Bean varieties are often named after a person or place and are part of a story. A story that maybe starts with a handful of beans carefully wrapped and tucked in the pocket of an ancestor or friend from another country…beans that have been passed on, selected and adapted to growing on Denman.

We are interested in sharing and developing a seed bank of beans that grow well on Denman Island.

Please contact us if you have bean stories to share and/or bean seeds to share. We are always looking for new beans to trial that grow well on Denman, taste good and are part of a story.

Contact Information for Plan B(ean):

downtoearth27@gmail.com

(See what we planted in 2020)