Cecil and the beanstalk: South Point man rewrites fairy tale

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 31, 2004

SOUTH POINT - His name may not be Jack, but Cecil Daniels might just have a magic beanstalk of his own.

The 74-year-old South Point resident has two unusual green bean plants growing in his Second Street East backyard.

Sprouting dozens of bean pods each measuring more than two feet in length,

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even the hero of the fairy tale would be proud.

"I have never seen beans this big," Daniels said Monday as he held a yardstick tied to a 24-inch bean. "I haven't talked to anybody else around here who has either."

Though he did not have to trade any livestock for the beans, Daniels was given the three beans by a friend and decided to pop two of them in the ground behind his home.

"My friend gave them to me and said he did not know what they were," Daniels said. "I said, 'Sure I'll put them out.'"

Boy, did he have a surprise coming! The plants sprouted right up and now stand nearly 8-foot tall.

Now, Daniels is glad he planted them. Each plant has numerous giant pods on them, some of which contain more than 18 beans each. Daniels said it is not uncommon for some of the pods to grow as much as two inches a day.

Not much of a gardener, Daniels said he has a few healthy tomato plants growing. Daniels said he thinks the secret to his success may lie in a pile of horse manure that used to sit on the ground where he planted the beans.

Whether the beans are unique or not, Daniels has gotten lots of laughs out of the vegetable.

"I have really enjoyed watching them grow," he said.

His curiosity did get the best of him recently, so he called local gardening guru John Marra for an expert opinion. Marra called them asparagus beans and said they could grow to up to 28 inches.

"He knew right what I was talking about," Daniels said. "He even told me to watch out for ants that will try to eat them."

At least Cecil only has to worry about ants, Jack had to worry about giants.