Sunday, 25 October 2009

climbing french beans markant

Now is the season for ordering next year's seeds.

A chance to review last year's successes and surprises. What didn't work well and what will we try that is different next year?

Climbing French Beans 'Markant' were one of the successes. This was their first year for us and we planted them , 'Three Sisters style' in with sweetcorn and squashes. They wound themselves up the sweetcorn stems without bending the corn stems down with too much foliage: the first requirement for climbing beans in a 'Three Sisters' bed.

But their main advantage was the quality of the beans they produced.

You can see from the photograph that the beans are lumpy and look as though they have passed their best. They are reminiscent of the beans you would buy in French street markets. In another life I could have been the old boy selling them to you. They are precisely the kind of bean that British supermarkets spurn and another great r4eason for growing your own food. where else would I get them?

The big surprise with Markant was that they were very slow to go 'stringy' and had a substantial texture when cooked. They were the best Climbing French beans we have ever grown. We must have more!

So, we returned to our catalogues this year but to no avail. They are not being stocked anywhere.

I should have kept seed. I failed the first rule of sustainable gardening - a schoolboy error!

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