Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Harvest At Last

At last, I've managed to harvest something from the allotment. These are the first broad beans I've grown, and they look pretty good. I remember hating broad beans when I was a child, but I think it's time to give them a go again, I'll never know if I like them now if I don't try them. I've harvested quite a few pods so there's plenty for all the family to try. I've heard that broad beans suffer quite badly with black fly but my plants haven't been touched, I haven't pinched out the tops either, it must be beginners luck.

My tomato plants are only just beginning to produce their first flowers. They're really late this year so I'm hoping that there's enough time for fruit to set and ripen, if not we'll be eating lots of green tomato chutney. I've heard weather reports that say September and October are going to be warm so perhaps we'll all get late harvests this year. I'm not holding my breath though.

My greenhouse is full of seedlings waiting to be planted out at the allotment. Most things have had to be resown this year as the first batch of veggies have succumbed to either the weather or slugs. I'm hoping that they'll get planted out at the weekend so that they can get established before we go on holiday. I've got visions of coming home to find that the same thing's happened with this next batch but there's not much I can do about that, it seems everything's conspiring against the gardener this year.


  1. Wow, you're lucky having no blackfly. Mine are covered but I don't worry too much. The beans are still ok, if a bit messy to pick! xx

  2. I'm a firm believer in double podding broad beans, but then there are those that say there is no need....I'll be interested to see what you think of them. Personally I like them double podded with garlic, feta and olive oil. Or with bacon but then what isn't good with bacon???

  3. I'm growing broad beans for the first time this year as well, Jo. I'd heard about the problem with blackfly and planted sacrificial nasturtiums around the beans to keep the beans safe - and neither the beans nor nasturtiums were attacked! (They seemed to all go on the fruit trees.) I'm going to try a Waitrose recipe for beans - Heston's warm lettuce, pea and broad bean salad - it sounds very good and he recommends boiling the beans (depodded) for one minute then draining and slipping off the skins. I tried this and the beans were lovely and sweet! I hope you're right about the weather warming up later in the year, the plants here could do with it!

  4. I'm at the same place as you in my broad bean journey, except that I haven't picked any yet. This year's harvest generally is going to be pretty dire as a result of the weather.

  5. Well done with your broadies - it is always encouraging when you get a good harvest. I've had to do some re-sowing too - maybe by Seotember we will start to see some good results.

  6. Congratulations on the harvest - very small broad beans can be eaten raw. It's best not to let them get too big as they can be tough and it's best to double pod then.
    Love from Mum

  7. Our broad beans have avoided the blackfly too. We usually get a few later in the season but they don't damage the beans and I never bother pinching out the tips. Maybe I'm just lazy!

    Hope your right about the autumn and that we get a decent spell of weather to prolong the season after such a slow start.

  8. There's nothing like freshly picked broad beans - yummy.

    I picked my first courgette to day, and some strawberries. For some reason my tomatoes that are outside are ahead of the ones in the greenhouse! And my runner beans are just starting to set, but I don't think I'll be eating them for a while yet ;-/

  9. We've been picking broad beans today too - reading other blogs our stuff seems well behind!

  10. I hope they are right about good weather for Sept and Oct, but I suspect that it is just a ploy by the Government to boost public morale and take our minds off the atrocious June, July and probably August weather!
    My Broad Beans are producing a fine crop, but the blackfly have re-infested them - not that that seems to have done any significant damage at this late stage.
    I have my first tomato fruit showing some colour now...

  11. Hope you enjoy those beans Jo - another vote from me for double depodding - it makes a big difference. I like the sound of that potential autumnal warmth - fingers crossed :)

  12. Enjoy the broad beans, and lucky you not getting any black fly. I've been picking mine for the past couple of weeks.
    I've got flowers on some of my tomatoes, so fingers crossed that we both get some fruit to enjoy.
    Good luck with the seedlings. I've all but given up with planting and sowing for this year. Flighty xx

  13. The black fly just haven't realised that I'm growing broad beans yet, Debbie, I'm sure they'll soon discover them if I grow them again.

    I think I shall try them with bacon, Liz. You're right, anything's nice with bacon.

    Thanks for the tip about slipping off the skins, Caro, I think I'll try some both ways. I'm hoping that the weather warms up at the end of the year, a late harvest is my only hope this year.

    It's the same here, Linda. I'm hoping that we do get some late sunshine to give us a late harvest.

    At least something's come good, Elaine, the season isn't a total washout. Let's hope for some late harvests of other things too.

    Thanks, Mum. I hadn't thought about eating them raw, I'll have to try them.

    Anything for an easy life, Martyn. I won't pinch out the tips either if I don't have to. I think we're due a decent autumn after the summer we're encountering.

    I don't have any signs of any courgettes yet, Su. I wasn't going to grow runner beans this year, but after the disappointments with the French beans I've sown some. I just hope I can get them to grow and produce now.

    I think we're all in the same boat this year, Sue, everything's so late. My tomatoes are only just beginning to get flowers, I don't know if I'll even get a harvest off them this year.

    You could be right about that, Mark, but I think we deserve some decent weather now, surely all this rain can't continue much longer. My tomatoes are only just getting a few flowers, the fruit seems a long way away.

    I'm having the beans for tea tonight, Anna, I'm looking forward to trying them. We're definitely due a good autumn.

    Let's hope that our tomatoes go on to give us a great harvest, Flighty. These seedlings are my last hope of getting much to harvest this year, it's been such a bad gardening season.

  14. Good you're getting to eat something from your garden! Chooks have demolished everything of mine except what is in the big apple crates! Naughty girls.

  15. We have so far managed three broad beans, not three pods, three beans! They came off a plant my Tiny Boy broght home from preschool. I cooked them ever so carefully for him and he nibbled the end of one and declared them to be yucky. So J and I shared them. They were not yuvky in my opinion!

  16. I'm carrying out twice daily slug and snail patrols at the moment Jo trying to keep on top of the pesky mites. It's been a difficult growing year so far. Your broad beans look great. I've been getting my supply in a weekly veg box - just about given up with my veg - but the strawberries have been superb!

    Have a great holiday.


  17. Well I wonder whether you have decided you like them enough to give broad beans another go next year?
    I have had my best harvest ever, but I stupidly sowed the rows too close together, so now I can't walk between them. Also I didn't put proper supports in place so they are flopping about all over the place. Something to be remembered next year!

  18. It's lean pickings from the allotment so far this year, The Bok Flock, so it's good that something's producing.

    Perhaps you should allow Tiny Boy to do all the broad bean growing, Eleanor. It's good that they're starting them off so young at preschool, there's so many kids these days who don't know where their food comes from.

    It's such an awful year for veg growing, Jeanne. I've just found another huge slug in the greenhouse. Glad to hear that your strawberries are doing well, we've had plenty off ours but there's lots rotting too.

    There's always things we'd do differently next year, Rachael. I'll mention my broad beans and what I think of them in a post on my return from holiday.

  19. I have some broad beans ready too...i will hopefully go harvesting some today. What a terrible year it is for us gardeners!!

  20. I hope you enjoyed your broad beans, Tanya. I ate mine with some bacon and home grown potatoes, delish.


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