Green beans are so easy to grow. A $5 packet of seeds grows as many green beans as a person might reasonably want to eat for a season. If we let a few of those green beans stay on the plant until they’re brown and dry, we can re-use the seeds to plant again the following year at no cost whatsoever. Green beans tolerate dry soil, wet soil, weeds, the works. Bush beans aren’t uncontrollably sized, and they aren’t wildly invasive. If we can manage to adjust our aesthetic expectations to accommodate the subtle, those little flowers are pleasing to the eye as well.
What would happen if we shifted our culture just a little bit to accommodate the idea of green beans as both ornamental and food-producing plants? What would happen if we put green beans in our nation’s windowboxes?