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bean feast

That’s what I’m planning for this year: a bean feast.  Shortly before Christmas my (dare I say it) best present came in unassuming brown envelopes inside a padded envelope:  six varieties of drying beans from Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Phaseolus vulgaris – the bean of the people.  And a source of vulgar humour, but …

winter salad leaves

Thanks to the mild winter leaf crops are still harvesting well with only protection from pigeons, Miss Haversham style under fine white netting. They are looking very pretty on the plate and tasting very nice on the palate. L – R: Lettuce ‘Valdor’ (sweet), blood-veined sorrel (sour), radicchio ‘Rosso di Treviso’ (bitter), lettuce ‘Lattughino’ (also …

Delivering flyers (how quaint, in these days of social media and app marketing) for our Christmas wreath initiative, there was a doorway with a range of odd sticks. Aha! a small boy lives here, came the thought, as I was reminded of my now towering son, and instructions to leave wayside garnerings outside.  But gardeners …

cavolo nero and other brassicas

Several matters came together to fire a craze on cabbages and brassicas in general. I now have four different kales, hearting cabbage and a range of chinese leaves in different stages of development ready for stir-fries and steaming through the coming months. You can read my peak oil inspiration here, http://projectdirt.com/group/incredibleediblelambeth/forum/topics/i-have-a-dream-cabbage In addition, I just …

broad beans

Looking all ‘Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady at the races’, who’d have thought this was the frankly robust broad bean. I love broad beans, to pod, to eat, to sow a proper crop in late October/early November when everything else is going dormant.  These were last year’s flowers, the photo taken on 8th April, …

winter squash

Cucurbits (courgette, pumpkin, squash) can be really satisfying to grow as they have big seeds that you start off indoors in May and produce nice plants pretty quickly.  The fruits are shapely and tasty, and their final curing (sitting in the sun once ripe) encourages a postive transition to autumn, I feel. I’m still getting …

cosmos psyche white

What’s in a name? Well, how could your mind not be lifted by Cosmos ‘Psyche White’. It’s a light and floaty tall annual, with fine foliage and prolific moon-daisy flowers. It also has a vigourous, iron constitution and is easy to raise. I spare a 1.5m x 2.5m raised bed for cut flowers at my …

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