Adventures in Food – Broad Bean Tips

First of all, a little bit of a Kermitflail that we actually got food from our allotment for the first time – how awesome is that?

We planted the broad beans at the beginning of November and they’re flowering beautifully. We don’t have any actual beans yet, but what we do have are broad bean tips. It’s been recommended to me that I pinch out the growing tips of the broad bean plants, both to reduce the chance of blackfly and to divert energy into fruit production.

“Pinching out” basically means taking hold of the fat growth tip and a couple of leaves around it and twisting or pinching them off the top of the plant (very easy, not complicated or scary!) Save these tips and leaves and bring them home…

Wash them and check carefully for bugs and beetles – we found a few which may have been the beginnings of blackfly, so I think we timed this pinching out just right. If you find any tips that are infested discard them (You don’t need the extra protein!)

I simmered them for 2-3 minutes in a pan with some frozen veg and served them as a side to a steak and ale pie; you could possibly also eat them raw as a salad veg or in a stir fry, or with pasta?

It just feels like a nice additional bonus harvest. Waste not, want not!

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Tomatoes – If at First You Don’t Succeed…

I had a bash at growing tomatoes on my window sill a few years ago, and my efforts literally failed to bear fruit. But I ruddy love tomatoes and between us we eat an awful lot of them, so I’m going to have another go.

Usually my main problem is either over or under-watering things I’m growing in pots, so this time around I’m going to have a go at making a couple of self-watering containers out of old soft drink bottles, as described by Juliet Kemp in Permaculture in Pots. I’ll let you know how I get on!

It’s all about experimenting…