Broad Beans, do you love them or hate them? If you grew up having to eat broad beans boiled to an inch of their lives and appearing on the plate a delightful shade of grey, have no fear dear reader, those sorry looking things really don’t class as a broad bean!
We’ve planted some broad beans in pots, growing them specifically to pick the green tips – not growing them on to develop the actual broad beans. Another green alternative for the dinner plate, to put on top of a curry or stew, they are also lovely as part of a salad mix and especially lovely in a roll or bun with some homemade green tomato pickles and a veggie burger – that was lunch today.
The Broad bean tips.
1. The broad bean tips are delicious, they are tender, sweet, not chewy. Don’t wait too long and let the leaves get too big.
2. We eat broad beans in a similar way to pea sprouts.
3. The broad beans don’t need to be in the hothouse, they appreciate the cold weather and are more resistant to diseases when grown outside. This leaves more room in the hot house for greens that aren’t as frost tolerant.
4. We aim to pick a colander of greens each day, broad beans add diversity to the mix. Think a combination of broad bean tips, pea shoots, smaller broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower leaves. Add in some Asian greens, baby mustard greens, any small broccoli florets from last years broccoli plants that I had left in the ground to grown on and collect seed from.
5. Today’s date is 8th June 2022, it is not too late to plant some broad beans in a pot, use the best organic vegetable potting mix/compost that you can afford. The broad beans have a short growing season and given that they are growing during the Winter months, they need the best growing conditions as possible.
6. Start harvesting when the broad bean plants are approximately 10cm high, looking robust and healthy.
7. Only ever take the first 2 sets of leaves. You don’t want to take everything, it will stress the plant out to much and it will have a hard time recovering.
Hope you give them a try. It may seem a bit of work or an outlay with buying a bag of potting mix and a packet of broad bean seeds but compare it to a 200 gram bag of salad mix from a major grocery store that sells for approximately $6 and doesn’t last longer than a week. You can only eat that bag of greens once but with the broad bean plants you can get several harvests over several weeks.
Sending Light and Love,
*The broad beans in the first photo are grown along the front of a garden bed that we established last Spring. At the moment it has broccoli planted in it. In between each broad bean pot there are hay bales. The hay bales are stopping the garden bed from slipping (since we live on a hill everything gradually goes south if there isn’t a garden border), the hay bales are also helping protect the plants from wind damage and add thermal mass creating a micro climate.
I have written another blog post about Broad Beans. Click here to read it.
Winter 2022 – Broad Bean tips.
June 8, 2022