Category Archives: frenchbean

happy Samhain!

dsc_0625-2I like the idea that Halloween may have its origins in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, the end of the harvest and start of winter.

Well, it might have been the end of harvest back in the Iron Age but we’re still on the go.  At the moment we are using a dehydrator which a neighbour has kindly loaned to us.  My favourite so far…. dried apple rings.

dsc_0612dsc_0612-2The lovely OH has taken down the beans canes and we are stripping the remaining pods and will dry the beans to add to winter stews…

dsc_0622dsc_0621-2On the matter of spooky things, I have decided to get to grips with bread-making, beginning with sourdough.  I have made my ‘starter’.  It’s pure alchemy – water, flour and wild yeast which is everywhere, including on the flour, and in the air.  As the starter is full of living organisms I have to feed it over the next week and then I’ll have a go at my first sourdough loaf.




ready …. steady…..


Seed sowing continues.  I’ve sown a crop of broad bean (Bunyard’s Exhibition) and dwarf french bean (Tendergreen).  Once they’ve germinated they’ll be planted out in the polytunnel.    I usually do an autumn sowing of broad bean Aquadulce Claudia and top it up with a spring sowing of another variety.   This year I’m going to see if I can get an earlier crop by using the  polytunnel.

Once again the variety has been dictated by ‘what I have in my seed stash’.  Bunyard’s Exhibition is an old variety, introduced 1884, and is meant to be reliable with excellent flavour.   Tendergreen is a heavy cropper, again reputed to have very good flavour.   Both are meant to freeze well but I’m hoping that by spreading out the sowings, and by focusing on seasonal recipes, the freezer will be last resort this year.  The early sowing of the french bean is an experiment.  Tendergreen is meant to mature early though I have to say a January sowing is very early – we shall have to see.

In a departure from the norm I’ve decided to keep these early sowings in the house to deter the mouse raids!


Thanks to the OH, the polytunnel is ready and waiting.