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David Smith

Field Beans

Anyone else here grow Field Beans? You know, the ones that are supposed to be green manure and dug in before they flower?

If you are as mean as I am, let them grow on and make beans! The bees will love the flowers, which are nice and early, and the crop of beans will astonish you - the pods are smaller than most BBs, with four or five beans at most. But you get LOADS of pods per stem!

You can eat them whole when small, like BBs, or let them grow on and enjoy them as you would other BBs (they are I believe the basis of all BBs anyway). When fully grown they are a little more mealy than when smaller, but so are all BBs - and still great if cooked a tad longer, or you can use them for falafels. They also freeze well, and can be dried, and used in soups and so on like any dried beans.

And then you also have the benefit of a nitrogen fixing root that you can leave in the ground and transplant brassicas to the spaces between, nice and firm to suit them, and tons of excellent composting material.

And to top it all, the seeds (from Kings, for instance) are cheaper than their fancier descendants....

Best wishes
David
Digindeep

Never grown them, but have heard of them. Basically through reading up seed catalogues.
Possibly, once I have the beds in shape, may try them, at least they will fix nitrogen into the soil.
Most beans I usually grow get dug in one way or another.
ewal

Broad Beans

I grow dwarf bbs I thought they had lots of pods on , but not as many as yours.
David Smith

They very often form multiple stalks on the one plant - I cut some down the other day, and one plant from one sown bean had four stalks smothered in pods - I counted 63 that were "worth" harvesting, each with an average of 4 beans, so roughly 252 beans from one sown, not a bad return!

They make lovely "hummus" - bit bland on their own but a great carrier for garlic etc :-)

Best wishes
David
ewal

field beans

I remember my mother who was a kitchen maid on a farm when she was 14 telling us she went in the fields to pick beans for dinner & I said but you can't eat them they are for animals & she said there is no difference. She was born in 1894. My missus makes parsley sauce for the beans, very nice.
You have to eat broad beans while young so we have a dozen dinners in the freezer.

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