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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Ending hunger and poverty can not be accomplished without also caring for the Earth, and Heifer International believes achieving environmental sustainability is key. In honor of Arbor Day, try this long bean tepee project in your own backyard. You can improve the environment, create a shady spot to rest and boost your family's nutrition.

Arbor Day 2013Photo credit:


  • 6-8 six foot branches or poles
  • Rope
  • Long Bean Seeds
  • Fertilizer

How to Build A Long Bean Tepee

  1. Stake the poles into the ground in a wide circle, leaving an open section for a door.
  2. Then, tie the tops of the poles together with rope.
  3. Plant your long bean seeds around the tepee's frame.
  4. Water and fertilize the seeds.
  5. After several days, (7-14 to germinate) the seeds will sprout and need to be loosely tied to the poles until they begin to grow up the poles on their own.
  6. With proper watering, sprouts should reach the tepee's top in about 7-8 weeks.
  7. Trim extra growth as needed and enjoy!

Learn about Heifer's work toward reforestation

Help families build healthy, sustainable lives worldwide


Chelsey McNiel