Broad bean harvest time

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Tuesday 12 May, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Having planted the broad beans over a month later than in previous years, I am chuffed to see that it worked. I reckon the prolonged rains this past winter are partly responsible, however it’s still pleasing when something works out. I know some of you praise the veggie successes that I post, but we also have our fair share of catastrophes too, especially with our red spider friends attacking many crops, as well as white fly, black fly and any-colour-in-between fly – and I’m not big on using sprays at all.

But back to the beans…. Usually the plants are much taller, much earlier, and therefore suffer with being blown around during the winter storms. This year, the beans are hanging much lower, with anything from two to ten pods per plant.

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With me pulling the plants up like mad, removing the pods and composting the waste, the girls set to with the podding. All told it took some five or six hours to pod the crop – that’s excluding a number of early harvest pickings we’ve had, and a box full sent to a relative in Istanbul. A goodly haul all right this year 🙂

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Tub after tub of beans were then double and triple washed.

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And then blanched and cooled.

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This is about half the batch frozen down. The final tally, excluding those used, picked earlier, or sent off to relatives were 31 bags; good enough for us!  It’s such a tasty vegetable, with so many uses – they won’t go to waste, that’s for sure.

So that’s the last of the winter/spring crops dealt with, so time to prepare that land for the sweetcorn planting next month – as that’s often a significant crop failure for us, I’ll be seeking professional farming advice from Linda and Terry in Western Colorado, as they are experts on a grand scale for raising corn.

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20 thoughts on “Broad bean harvest time

  1. Hey Spike … any tips on when the broad beans are ready to harvest? I still have loads of flowers on the plants. 😀

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    • Uncle Spike says:

      Hey you…

      We harvest in two ways. Once when the pods are young, about 10-15cm and thin. Those are eaten raw in salads or cooked sliced with onion and tomato like string beans.

      We also use the freshest small leaves in salad – superb).

      As for the rest, I tend to wait until the leaves are spotty and browning off at the lowest part of the stalk.

      Yes, they reflower for ages, but I usually harvest the lot by early April (so springtime) as out temps jump up in May to 25+ and I need that land for the peppers etc.

      Use my email address if that helps for more detailed chats 🙂

      SPIKE

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy says:

    Yum yum … my favourite … partly because they taste as good frozen as fresh – I’ve tried freezing haricots – tasteless afterwards, no matter what I do. Interesting about your distances – I’ve begun to suspect that the standard advice (which I think is 23cm apart, sort of!) is a bit conservative. After your post, I’ll do mine closer next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful haul. With such great photos, you can barely see the work involved;)

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  4. If you don’t use chemical sprays what do you use? To get rid of greenfly here I use a spray containing washing up liquid – they don’t seem to like that!

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  5. joannesisco says:

    mmmm – broad beans. One of my favourites! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow Spike well done. I think I have broad bean envy. YOu have prompted me to go and and buy some seedlings. I better hurry up though 🙂

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    • Uncle Spike says:

      Just throw some old beans in – never bother with seedlings. They take 3-4 weeks to germinate, but one of the easiest crops to grow I’ve found.

      I plant in late November, so 5 months before harvesting when the weather gets too warm. So probably about right time for you ‘down there’ 🙂

      I sow one bean every 15cm or so, and same between rows. Too many and they choke up. I never follow protocol (aging rebel), so no idea what they are supposed to have in terms of spread or depth. I just carve out a trench with my hoe; so 10cm deep I guess, then soak the trench. When drained, I sow every 15cm and recover the trench – that’s all I ever do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. June says:

    Excellent haul! They do take an age to pod but it’s so worth it to then have beans for the winter. Enjoy eating them!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dayphoto says:

    Do you have pinto beans there? I wish I could send you some if your don’t. Of course customs would be a nightmare to get them to you.

    Your beans look really good. Excellent!

    Thanks for the compliment. The corn has been a struggle this year, since it’s been so wet.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    https://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/sherlock-boomer

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  9. Lookin good with this harvest.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yvonne says:

    What a lot of work, but you’ll be enjoying them for a good long while!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! What a crop!! My mother in law makes a fabulous bean soup with a mix of these and pinto beans. Soooo good 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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