Sunday, 29 June 2008

Big, fat and round, broad beans are at the indulgent end of the beanfeast.

This variety (aguadulce) is an overwintering one. The seeds were sown directly into the soil in the autumn and the emerging plants made slow progress until May.

They did have the advantage of anchoring the soil and dissipating the compacting winter rains with their broad leaves as they grew. As they became taller, their lanky stems were secured with a perimeter of garden twine and canes.

Their fleshy green shoots are delicious to aphids and so must be pinched out in late spring or they will become infested.

But by the end of June, each plant was heavy with plump pods. We had taken an early crop of the pods before the beans have been formed. Chopped and stir-fried they are delicious. Add sunflower seeds that have been toasted and drenched on shoyu and they are wonderful!!!!

This weekend, the plants were stripped and their stems chopped and composted.

Their sturdy root systems have been left to continue to add nitrogen to the soil.

The pods have been brought home and the generous crop of broad beans eaten or frozen.

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