Thursday, 21 August 2014

Couldn't Help Myself

I'd decided on a plot visit in the afternoon. It promised to be another coolish August day and provided it stayed dry my plan was to get all our grass paths cut. As I was moving the mower from the garage to the car the heavens opened and it poured down for a few minutes. That put grass cutting on hold.
After a while the sun came back out and it looked quite promising so I decided to pop down to the plot after all but just to pick some runner beans. All three varieties are now producing masses of beans and our plan is make some runner bean chutney as we've already got lots in the freezer.

By the time I'd got to the plot the weather had taken a turn for the worse again it looked ready to pour down again. Undeterred I started picking and after a couple of minutes the sun broke through and it felt hot. There’s still plenty of warmth left in the sun. The runner beans almost started cooking on the vine as the hot sun got to work on the wet beans.
It didn't take long before I’d picked 5kg of beans equally shared between Desiree to the left and Lady Di. Plenty for some chutney so as it still hadn't started raining I decided to pick a few alpine strawberries, then a quick look over the raspberries, perhaps a punnet of greengages, some plums and a few apples for good measure.
In the end it wasn't too bad a harvest considering I nearly didn't bother visiting when it poured down with rain just after lunchtime. Time to get the runner bean chutney recipe out.

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  1. A satisfying trip to the plot. Do you have a favourite runner bean variety? I try a different one every year, but I haven't really settled on one yet. This years (Celebration, with salmon pink flowers) seemed to come to a sudden halt, and the crop wasn't as heavy as some I've tried.

    1. Hi CJ. You do like to ask some tricky questions. We sort of try different runner beans but not necessarily a new variety each year.

      This year we’ve gone for St George, Desiree and Lady Di. Bicoloured, white and red coloured flowers respectively. They’ve all done pretty well for us in the past.

      If you’d asked the question about favourites a couple of weeks ago I would have said St George. It was probably the first variety to produce beans in any quantity and the beans were nice and straight so easy to prepare for kitchen use without those twists and bends that can make trimming a tricky operation. Desiree I thought was the worst performing. It seemed to be producing lots of leaves and fewer beans but now it’s giving the better harvest at the moment just a bit later into full production.

      They’ve all surprised me in how well they stood up to the windy weather and have continued to flower and produce more beans. So far Desiree 5.7kg, Lady Di 8.085kg and St George 6.555kg. All three varieties taste good and haven’t produced any of those really stringy beans apart from a few giant beans that we’ve missed picking at the right time.

      I think I’ll stick to the same varieties next year.

      I do make sure our beans get plenty of water and we do try to keep up with picking all the beans that are ready and preferably before they get too large and stringy.

  2. Thanks for your reply Martyn. It occurs to me that it might be nice to try two varieties, I shall make a note of the ones you mention.


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