Bring home the beans

Harvesting Beans for the winter months This image was published in the Telegraph’s online Gallery Bring Home the Harvest on 29th September 2014.

Runner beans wind their way up bamboo wigwams, curling tendrils gripping tightly and producing prolifically. I didn’t grow any however preferring the more delicate french bean.

Down on the allotment, nearby folks were clearing and composting. Dan suggested we could collect dried beans and save them for casseroles over the winter, so as usual, if he has the idea, I’ve got to do the asking, “You’re better at it the asking. And they taste like butter beans.” He says, trying to encourage me.

I was jolly successful at collecting other folk’s rubbish and was rewarded the moment I opened the very first pod. Like speckled birds eggs, each pod contained a slightly different pattern and colour. Mauve, purple, black, dusky pink and blueish grey. But the surprise I had on opening a not yet dried pod was to find a group of Ibuprofen pink beans lying in a green nest. As they dry, the pink jewels will darken and blend in with the rest.

The allotment is a treasure trove of discovery and learning and new recipes waiting to unfold.

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

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