If, like many people, you have a small garden or even just a few pots on a balcony but still want to grow vegetables you many turn to the idea of a potager, an ornamental kitchen garden.For a potager you need varieties that not only taste great but look fantastic as well.
I’m always a bit sceptical about novelty vegetables. So many times you might get an unusual colour or shape but insipid taste. There are a couple of novelty broad beans including the crimson flowered, dating back to the 1800’s and recently saved from extinction, there are some purple seeded beans too, all of which seem to be as good as the more normal green beans. Therefore when I saw Karmazyn and its unusual antique pink colour, I thought I would give it a go.
Whilst many vegetables could be considered attractive to look at, one or two could be considered works of art. Turks Turban is one and borlotti beans another. These Italian beans have pink and white splashed outer pods hiding several rich creamy white beans with a Jackson Pollock of purple, pink or red splashes. They are a beautiful as well as an easy to grow and delicious addition to your allotment.
I love growing heritage seeds, especially those which have a great history behind them and Cherokee Trail of Tears sure has a history behind it, although not one that you could call “great”. In the 1830’s, the US government forecebly marched over 40,000 Native Americans from their traditional homelands in the south west of the…
Field beans are usually sown by farmers as a winter green manure crop to provide stability for the soil and be a source of nitrogen and organic matter for the year ahead. They aren’t normally thought of for their culinary ability but this little beans might surprise you. If left to mature field bean Wizard…
My memories of Greek and Turkish holidays often revolve around foods that we ate. Especially wonderful were the meze, small plates of tasty bites to share.
Winter is usually thought to be the time to hunker down on the allotment, to eat root vegetables carefully stored, preserves or the rugged green brassicas the only green vegetables to survive the cold.
Many years ago the cutting of pea sticks to provide support for tall growing peas was common place. The world wars, where labour was short and modern farming techniques has pretty much put paid to the growing of large pea varieties except for the home gardener.
I grew these runner beans this year after a friend described them as “the best runner beans they had ever grown”. With a recommendation like that, who wouldn’t want to try them?
Wisley Magic is a heritage variety red flowered runner bean which is often considered one of the best for flavour and having that “old fashioned runner bean taste”.
I grew purple teepee attracted by the idea of having wonderful purple beans easy to see above the foliage. This was for both looks with the wonderful colour contrast between purple and green but also ease of harvesting I’ve always found purple beans hard to see against the earth.
I first tried tepee beans attracted by the idea of having plants that proudly display their beans on top of the foliage, rather than rooting around under the leaves to find them and less chance of dirt splash back.
Carouby de maussane is a heritage mangetout type pea. It’s has pretty purple tinted flowers and the pods themselves have an unusual translucent quality and unusually still remains tender even when the peas have started to form.
De Monica is advertised as one of the earliest spring down broad beans to harvest and should from a Feb planting it is claimed be ready to harvest in May.
Peas are not the sort of thing to grow unless you are a grow your own obsessive.