In the west, beans were never worth much in the garden. They were a staple, but not as valuable as wheat or corn. People ate them, but rarely were they a favorite food. So, to most, beans just weren't very valuable.
Now the common misconception is that a "hill of beans" is a bunch of beans stacked as big as a hill -- this is how we'd interpret the saying today, making beans a bit more valuable. For example, today, a ton of beans is worth between $600-1800 depending on which type of bean. However, that's not what a "hill of beans" refers to.
However, most farmers would feel as if the year that they put beans on a plot of land is somewhat useless for sale purposes compared to others. It's considered a useless or less valuable year.
Therefore, when something is "not worth a hill of beans" it is declared as useless, or more useless, than the year they have to make their plot of land into a hill of beans to grow better crops the following year.
How about today? Do you often see this expression used in daily life? Did you know the meaning of it before? Leave a comment and let me know!
On average, P. Creeden releases 2-3 stories each month. Interested in learning more?
Join her reader group on Facebook: