Posts Tagged peas

Growing our runner beans and an update on the veggie garden

We don’t have a greenhouse yet and we do suffer from slugs and snails here as we have had such a wet Winter, so I start off our runner beans indoors in the inside of loo roll tubes.

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We end up with seeds growing on all the window ledges in the house.

After a couple of weeks they have started to sprout.

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And when they are 8 to 12 inches tall I put them outside.  By putting the whole tube into the ground it gives the beans  some protection against the slugs and snails, and gives them a fighting chance.

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I tie each little bean plant up to its bean cane so it doesn’t get blown around in the wind.  This year as part of our “no dig” experiment we have laid newspapers down around the bean poles to deter the weeds.

After 10 days or so they are already climbing the bean poles, so a success.  Just need to wait another month now before they produce some lovely beans for us.

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Our other veggies are growing well too.  Here are our peas climbing up their pea sticks.

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And our cabbages growing in their shrouds to protect them from pigeons and cabbage white butterflies.

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This year we spread grass clippings around the potatoes and onions as mulch and again to deter the weeds.

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The sweet corn are still small, they need some more sunshine to boost their growth.

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We shall have a bumper crop of strawberries this year

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And the gooseberries are already forming on the bushes

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We are also growing lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, radish, chard, parsnips, carrots, turnips and purple sprouting broccoli so we should have lots of lovely veggies if everything grows OK.

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Peas to rival Birds Eye!

I’ve picked the last of our peas and I really had quite a lot.  Now Birds Eye say that their frozen peas take only 2 1/2 hours from plant to freezer so I set myself a challenge.  Pick them, pod them, blanche them, chill them and then freeze them and see how long it takes.

Freshly picked peas

I was pulling up the used plants as I picked the pods and putting them in the compost, so that took about an hour.  I then came inside and starting shelling them, that took another hour as there were so many and I was doing it on my own.

freshly shelled peas

As I had so many I split them into 2 and the first lot I plunged into boiling water for 90 seconds to blanche them, then ran them under cold water to chill them.  The cooled peas were then bagged up and popped into the freezer, so all in all just under 2 1/2 hours – I beat Birds Eye!!

The second batch I made into pea soup, the normal recipe, potatoe, a little butter, onion (if you like it, I left it out), peas and stock, boiled for 2o minutes then liquidised.  Resulting soup, tasted very much of peas as you would expect, but not my favourite and I won’t make it again.

However I now have lots of lovely peas in the freezer which didn’t come from Tesco!!

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Simple pleasures – homegrown and homemade

During a brief respite in the rain (it has poured here for 2 days solid), I managed to get out and pick runner beans.  The beans love the rain and have been growing like mad.

runner beans picked today

We have so many beans I am taking some to a friend tonight and I have already posted some to my Dad!!

I also noticed that our second row of peas have started to swell in the wet weather, so I picked some today, just enough for tonight’s dinner.

today’s peas

Whilst I was out picking veggies, my little cakes were baking in the oven.  I just used one egg, weighed it, and used equal quantities of butter, castor sugar and flour, then added ginger powder and sultanas.  Really simple little cakes that only take 18 minutes at 200 degrees C to cook.

Little ginger and sultana cakes

We’ve just had a cup of tea and a little cake still warm, lovely.  So simple pleasures for a wet weekend.  Now I must go and get on with some ironing, not such a pleasure!!

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First runner beans and eating from the garden

A couple of days ago I picked our first runner beans, just small tasty ones, but they are coming on nicely now. They had a slow start what with all our cold rainy weather, but all the rain water did them good.

First runner beans

So we had dinner that night with our own runner beans, our own potatoes, and our own peas, followed by our own raspberries, so we really are eating from the garden. My very own “Pick your own” at home!!

lovely peas from the garden

I’ve been sitting shelling peas and topping and tailing gooesberries whilst watched the Olympics.  It’s been really exciting with team GB doing so well.

It’s time to dig up the first of the onions and we have cabbages, spinach, and other brassicas coming along nicely.  I love eating from the garden, no food miles, just food feet!!

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my seeds are growing

The seeds I planted in cardboard tubes indoors have sprouted and are reaching for the sun.  The beans are getting quite tall and will start to wind round each other soon, so I have decided to plant them out into the garden.

my emerging beans

The courgettes and sweetcorn have started to come through but are not so far advanced, so I will leave them indoors for another week.

Courgettes and sweetcorn

As we had some welcome lovely warm weather over the weekend, I also planted directly into the ground, some more sweetcorn, some raddish, rocket and lettuce.  I bought some cabbage seedlings at the local school May fete and planted those out, surrounded by shrouds to keep the rabbits at bay.  I can see my peas are starting to come through.  The blueberry bushes are covered in blossom, the rhurbarb is growing like mad, and we still are picking the purple sprouting broccoli.  It’s such an exciting time of year, watching all the plants spring to life in the garden, and looking forward to the harvest of fruit and vegetables in a couple of months time. 

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Sowing peas and beans

In spite of the unseasonably cold weather we have been dodging the rain and working out in the veggie patch.  Last week I sowed peas into one half of one of our vegetable beds.  As peas are susceptible to being attacked by mice and rabbits, Neil made a mesh frame to sit on top of the raised bed to protect the emerging seedlings from being munched.

mesh frame to protect seedlings

In the next bed we dug in plenty of rotting horse manure to make a good compost for our beans.  We then put up our bean poles into 3 lines and I sowed runner beans and climbing french beans, 2 to each pole.  It was quite a sturdy structure by the time we had finished, as we do get the winds up here on the hill.

Bean canes

 We have already started picking our asparagus, just 4 spears so far, so not enough for a meal yet, but slowly slowly.  This is our first year that we have been able to harvest any aspargus, so I am quite excited about it.  The rhubarb is going great guns, and we are still eating purple sprouting broccoli.  I love eating straight from the garden, so fresh and so full of vitamins!!

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