Whenever I see broad beans I immediately think of Jack and the Bean Stalk. The large juicy beans that come out of the pods (which are luxuriously lined in a type of fur) hold my interest immensely. They also remind me of our holidays to Italy where Broad Beans were common on the menu. Broad beans can be used in so many dishes from curries to salads to eating them straight out the garden. Here are a few tips on how to grow broad beans.
What broad beans need…
– Little water
– A trellis to climb up
How to plant broad beans…
– With your chopstick sow 4-5cm deep in drills made with a dibber. Seeds can be sown 20 – 25cm apart in staggered rows.
– Water plants when they begin to flower and again two weeks later – watering at other times is only needed during prolonged droughts.
How to eat broad beans…
Pick the green tips about 7.5cmlong when the beans are still in flower and before the pods form. These can be steamed very quickly and eaten like spinach.
The immature pods are eaten whole, semi-mature pods are shelled and the young beans are eaten as flageolets. Mature pods are shelled and the beans used fresh or dried for winter use – the pods are too fibrous to eat when they are large so throw them into your compost heap.