What’s Bean Happening?

Finally, after a difficult week the sun burst forth and I could go out into the garden and truly lose myself in it.  After a miserable spring where more time was spent nipping out to the garden to do a few quick things before the next shower.   The terrible week was framed with high winds and solid rain, which set the scene for the shock of serious earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms for most of the country.   We were blessed enough to be far enough north not to be affected by it all, but stood by and watched a country literally be torn apart at its foundations and with the rest of the country count the blessings in that as far as the harm it caused, it could have been a whole lot worse.  We are a resilient nation and we will bounce back and be stronger for it.

Sweet Pea
The scent from these sweet peas is intoxicating. I so wish you could smell it too.

The only damage I experienced last week was so minor in the grand scheme of things – my broad beans were blown about a bit.  This makes me count my blessings.  However, blown about beans look awfully untidy and they were due for harvest and removal anyway.  I’m still not sure I like them, but the fact they were there again this year shows I was willing to give them another shot.  Either that or I’m a sucker for punishment.

Broad bean pesto
I guess broad bean, lemon, mint and garlic pesto isn’t too bad.

The removal of the broad beans gave me the last empty bed to prepare for the summer garden and in its place is to be more beans.  Proper ones.   Although I’m not overly keen on beans, I still like to have a few as they do have a place in our diet and if cooked in enough butter they are tolerable – although not as much butter as broad beans need!   But aside from the green beans, I like to try fancy ones, so there are purple ones, yellow ones and pink speckled ones.  And exciting this year I am having a go a Yard Long beans in red and green as the description made it sound like they don’t taste like ordinary beans and could be the answer to my bean issues.

Bean pole frame
Hopefully with the cross bracing this should stand up to the wind this summer

Not all beans are bad though, in my opinion.  I give most of the bed over to kidney beans that I allow to dry on the plant at the end of the summer.  The ultimate low maintenance plant – just sow and forget.  Well aside from the weeding and watering, but I’d be doing that anyway, regardless of which crop was in there.  And they give so much back as they become a winter favourite in chillies and nachos.

So in spite of the fact that it is just beans – the key to good crops is good soil and so taking care of the little things means a great harvest.   You can check out this beany transition in my latest video:

If you want to know the pickled broad bean recipe you can find it here:  The Late Spring Harvest – with Pickled Broad Bean recipe

After a hard spring and a lot of hard work the garden is finally in a place where I can see beyond the digging and the weeding (for the most part) and begin to enjoy all I have accomplished.

Come again soon – The garden is really starting to feel summer ready.  I just wish the weather was.

Sarah the Gardener : o )

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