A bucket of beans

It is a truism in gardening that things change from one season to the next and what grew well last year may not perform as well this season. We are certainly finding that this year. Maybe its the rain … we’ve been having a bit

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but I think it might also have to do with cultivation practices. Looking back at my notes I see that at this time in 2009 I was just getting the first pods on my broadbeans – but then I had not planted them until August. This year I planted in April and while the beans grew a bit then bided their time over winter, they rocketed away as soon as spring started. They are now over 1.5 metres high and producing like mad.

These are the broadbeans in May

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and this is what they are like today!

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So it wouldn’t surprise you to know that I picked a bucket of broadbeans today – which would, I guesstimate, be probably 1/8th of my current crop (and remember they haven’t stopped producing pods just yet).

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Once I shelled them they weighed in at just a tad under 1.6 kgs of beans.

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This lot will be blanched, ready to go into the freezer. Just a few minutes in boiling water then after they’ve cooled down they can be packed away. I’ll peel the outer pod off them once we defrost them to use. We’ll also be saving some dried beans as well as some for seed for next year. But we still have a lot of eating to do.

With the fresh beans TB has made a really nice side of broad beans in sage butter to go with our Kalyarni Dexter corned beef (speak to Ian Moy at the North or Southside Farmers Market). The recipe is dead easy. First blanch your broad bean pods in boiling water for a few minutes then pull them out let them cool a bit and peel off the outer shell of the larger beans – the smaller ones are tender enough to be eaten whole. In a small fry pan melt some butter and then fry off some sage leaves until they start to crisp up. Add your peeled beans back into the fry pan and swirl them around until coated with butter. Yummo.

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I forgot to mention that at the top of the plate we have the first of our hard-neck Red stemmed garlic bulbs, boiled, rather than roasted, in their skins – very sweet and creamy they were too. These were purchased at the Allsun Farms open garden day in 2009. If you missed out visiting Allsun Farm this year you might like to check out Variegated’s report on the day.

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