Update 4: September 14, 2014
The plant is now just short of 3 meters (~10 ft) tall. This view gives some perspective to the side of the house. The rain barrel is 1 meter tall.
Prickly pods bearing three beans each are abundant. The structure is 0.5 meters tall (~1.5 ft). The tops of two other stalks are also bearing bean pods. It will take a while for them to dry. We’ve had over 15 cm (6″) of rain the past two weeks. That is not typical for the midwest in September. This is our 4th wettest summer on record in Iowa. The bean plant and everything else continues to thrive on the moisture. I’m getting tired of mowing the lawn.
I watched an episode of Breaking Bad this week. Walter was intent on eliminating a drug lord by extracting ricin from castor beans. They dramatized the handling of the beans only using tweezers. They aren’t nearly as toxic as the show suggested. I don’t plan on testing that out.
Before winter, I will clear the garden. The seed beans will be collected and disposed of so animals and children will not be able to access them.