Monday, October 5, 2009

Mixed beans

We have had a mixed result with our beans this year. The broad beans (super aquadulce), earlier in the year were a great success. The runner beans (Scarlet Emperor) are still coming in thick and fast, although getting a bit stringy now. When they get to this stage, I pod them and cook the beans in their candy pink coats, removing them later to reveal the tender beanlets, which are then turned in some olive oil and garlic. A wee bit more work, but definitely worth it.
French beans (Aguillon) have been OK - a few delicious side dishes have been provided but I did not plant enough, and my successional sowing plans did not quite get going. Also, I put them in the wrong place and they became overshadowed by the runner beans and the peas - oops! Next year they will be given a lot more space.
Climbing beans (Barlotta lingua di fuoco) looked very promising. As with all the other beans, i started them off in root trainers in the greenhouse. Normally with borlotti beans, I have trouble even getting any to grow at all, so I was very happy when my 16 plants were ready to go out. Very slow growth though and the harvest has been very disappointing. Many of the pods were empty and it looked like some kind of weevil had got to them. You can see in the photo how skinny they are, but we did add what we harvested to a risotto today, so they didn't go to waste. James helped me pod them and I told him the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as we worked.
Maybe I should be like Jack's mother and just throw the beans on the ground next year!

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