Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Broadly speaking

Hurrah for beans, especially these fat, satisfying ones.
Broad beans (according to Wikipedia) have bean, sorry, been around since about 6000 years BC. Certain hieroglyphs actually refer to beans on toast being a staple of many diets.
We have seldom succeeded with over-winter crops, but last autumn, I duly dug, sowed and covered over a packet of beans, and then forgot about them.
Lo . . . with the first tentative notes of song from the hardier birds, shoots appeared, then whole plants, then pendulous pods and FREE FOOD - well, for the price of a packet of beans (about the cost of an imported tin of Heinz baked beans).
What a delight: crammed with protein, vit C and fibre, they take seconds to cook, can be frozen or dried easily, and taste wonderful.

Today I will harvest them, (as certain wily caterpillars have discovered their delights too) and attempt to dry a few of the pods for next year planting.
On such a subject: I was given thirty or so baby tomato plants yesterday by a gardening activist.
A collective of people here are saving vegetable seeds, then growing and distributing to friends in order to keep seed stocks available, and to get people into the habit of storing seed from their own crops.
They envisage a day, not far away, when Monsanto and other mega companies may control food stocks by rendering vegetables and fruit 'barren' and thus forcing gardeners and farmers to buy seed only from them.
1984 - esque perhaps, but probably accurate.
Get into the garden/allotment/balcony.

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