Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bean round the full circle

Just as Chez Ilipilli have finished their broadbean harvest, ours has started. Over a month after last year's, I note- why? Did I plant later? Maybe; must get better at keeping records... Because the weather has been cooler- definitely a possibility. Because I planted different varieties- perhaps: last year was Coles Dwarf and Early Long Pod. This year was Coles Dwarf and Aquadulce*, thus removing the "early" element, and so far just the Coles Dwarf have produced. Looking around the plot, there are plants at all stages from flowering through to harvest-ready:


First harvest: 350g total weight, 100g of edible beans. (About the same as last year's first harvest)

Like last year, I can't think of a better recipe to start the season than Consuming Passions' Bean Feast (recipe here). The first taste was sublime :) Hello spring!

*there's a prize for anyone who remembered that last year I considered getting crimson flowering broad beans this year. They turned out to be way more expensive than Aquadulce, so I stuck with frugal white. Maybe next year...

7 comments:

ANB said...

I am interested by the photos - we have broad beans growing that are at the flowering stage (and have been for ages) and I had just about given up on the flowers actually turning into anything. How long does it normally take?

_vTg_ said...

Hmm, definitely less than a month? Dissect a flower and see whether a tiny pod lies within. Ilipilli are in Sydney, so I would be getting worried in Perth... Are broad beans recommended for Perth? I do know with other beans that hot weather stops the pods from setting...
If nothing else, dig them into the ground and call it green manure!

ANB said...

I went out to conduct a flower inspection and discovered that there were actually three pods! Not much of a harvest from two plants but there are a few flowers left so we shall see if it improves. And mental note to self: next year plant more!

ilipilli said...

I was wondering the same thing about the time from flowers to pods. For WEEKS I was sure we'd lost the lot. I reckon it was at least 6-8 weeks but can't be sure.

LOL about the crimson-flowered - same here! Way too expensive!

This year I took the advice of Diggers? Jackie French? Monty Don? all of the above? and pinched out the tops when flowering was well established to encourage pod production. It worked a treat - I reckon almost every single flower produced. What a great harvest we had. Enjoy yours!

_vTg_ said...

M- good to hear! And yes, they are very inefficient as far as beans per plant go. In our case their only saving grace is that they grow and improve the soil when not much else is happening.

P- Glad that I am not the only one to have poor record keeping skills AND to be mingy on the colour. I've seen them at Collingwood College (original Stephanie Alexander school garden) and they look awesome en masse, but 12 seeds is not en masse!! If I grew them I think my first year would just be for saving the seed!!
Thanks for the pinching out tip- will give it a go. For a brief minute I thought I would only pinch half and compare plus/minus, but then realised that would take more energy than record keeping!! ;-)

_vTg_ said...

P- out of interest, do you keep harvest records? (Like Scarecrow's Garden, link to the left?) I keep meaning to but again it's the energy thing...

ilipilli said...

No, but I probably should. When I finish this degree, perhaps I'll start :)

Pods per plant? I reckon we must have had 10-15. Maybe more.

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