Sunday, 10 October 2021

Time of the Season

The mornings have been foggy and dark this week, but this weekend has been mostly warm and sunny. I’ve been prepping for future meals. I do enjoy seeing jars of stored beans.

Storing beans

The Borlotti and Gigantes came from all these pods, which have mostly been drying in the polytunnel. The Gigantes are drying slower than the other beans and haven’t produced so many pods this year.

Trug of goodies
I filled the trug yesterday, with the intention of doing the podding at home. But it was so sunny that I did it on the plot and it was very relaxing. The Borlotti lingua di fuoco 2 are great; they basically just unzip and the beans pop out. The runners, Scarlet Empire were podded last week and taken home with the peppers. The slugs definitely enjoyed more peppers than us. We’ll probably grow a smaller variety (peppers, not slugs) next year so they’re ready for picking earlier.
I had some of the podded runner beans in a dish covering a couple of meals, along with the orange pepper, chard, garlic and shallots - a fully home-grown meal. Very tasty and even better eaten a couple of days later when the flavours were enhanced. It’s apparently a peculiarly British-thing to eat the pods of runner beans, with most other nationalities growing them for the beans. And, I was surprised to see that in the US they are predominantly grown as an ornamental plant (hummingbirds love them) and are not even considered for food. See this blog, The Sharing Gardens, which is an interesting read.
Peppers, chard, beans, potatoes
My chard is looking better now than it’s looked all year, so I roasted some with sesame seeds yesterday, to eat as ‘crispy seaweed’ along with roasted veg - another fully home-grown meal, which up till now have been infrequent this year.
Roast veg and crispy seaweed chard
Jamie has some sort of flu (not COVID-19) so I’ve been to the allotment on my own a couple of times recently. I always think I don’t want to go, but am so pleased when I do. It’s such a lovely spot and there’s always someone to talk to.
Wheel barrow full of pumpkins
Yesterday I moved all the ripe squash into the polytunnel, there are still a few more to pick as they may still further ripen. 
Now that the foliage has died back, it’s clear that we didn’t keep up with the Rocky cucumber production! That lot will go in our compost bins so it’s not really wasted and we did eat a LOT of cucumbers this year.
The kohl rabi are beginning to bulb up. I’m concerned for them because the purple sprouting broccoli (single plant) and Chinese cabbage are being chomped by something - it looks like caterpillar damage but I haven’t found the culprit yet…
We also didn’t see who tucked into the sunflower seeds, but they’ve nearly cleared all of them now.
Sunflower seedhead
I had a couple of hours on the sunny plot again this afternoon. I took down the runner bean and Borlotti bean plants and poles. All the foliage will go in a trench under the squash tunnel once the plants are cleared and we’re expecting a HAHA manure delivery in a week or two.
And the cycle starts again with the Aqua dulce broad beans sown under their bottle cloches.
Broad beans sown
We’re hoping the garlic and shallots will be delivered in the week so can get them planted into their prepared beds. The title song is provided by The Zombies because, well, it really is that time…


  1. Cracking harvest and apposite song. Rocky cucumbers? I am looking for an alternative to 'La Diva' and this could be it!

  2. I've never dried beans as I simply don;t trust that I'd get it right and we'd end up with salmonella.

    1. Soaking overnight and then cooking in clean water for at least an hour (until I can prod them with a thin knife) before cooking in the final meal has worked for me (so far). All the beans I’ve cooked to date haven’t released any of the lectin that I’ve had to scrape off the top of the water which I think is a good sign that they’re not too toxin rich (unlike kidney beans).

      I hope I don’t regret writing this!

  3. The first photograph just warms my heart Belinda. I too have never dried beans because i am a little afraid that they will still be a bit damp and then turn mouldy, so always in admiration for your skills and expertise here. And that haul of squashes is magnificent, i really am envious.

    1. I hope that the beans are dry enough! I got away with it a couple years ago and the pods were extremely dry this year, so I hope it works ok this year too!
      I’ll be living off squash for a while!


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