Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Southport Flower Show tells me to pick my beans

I'm still getting a hang of this tweeting business. Southport Flower Show tweeted this afternoon, or strictly retweeted, the advice for allotment holders published in the Observer this weekend. Now I take the view that most advice published on such topics in our national newspapers is aimed at the SE of England so the suggestion that I should do this or that is usually a tad early. I was browsing round a second hand book shop the other day and I came across the first volume of Gladstone's diaries which cover the period1825-1832. He was living in what today is Sefton and he notes in one of his first entries on 3rd August 1825:

'weather rainy. This country not near so burnt up as in the south-crops not so generally ripe'

And so it proves today 185 years late, it is still raining and my beans are not yet ready for harvesting. But I did pop in to the allotment and get a few French beans for tea. As the Observer says:

The negligent harvester's dream plant is the French bean. Known in China and Japan as the 'three times bean', sandomame , it can be eaten podded out like peas after the bean stage or grown for dried beans for winter eating. If left for a few weeks after that it is a good candidate forseed saving.

My daughter is always telling me how rubbish the camera on my phone is -and I guess she has a point- but it was good enough to record my little harvest and also a picture of the flowers on my runner beans. the variety is Painted Lady and they were grown in Gladstone's day not for their beans but for their delicate flowers

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to learn that your Birkdale beans (dwarf and runner) are yet ready for easy picking. Up here in Churchtown, I'm already picking runners and,especially, loads of dwarf beans in my garden allotment. I sow the Kenyan dwarf variety which are rounded and very slim and better tasting, I think, than the traditional varieties.

    Perhaps this success is due to the use of liquid fertiliser that I get free from my wormery. Just to show that as Environmental councillor guy on the council I do try to practice what I preach about recycling when I feed the worms with our waste veg peelings etc !


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