|Borlotto beans ready for harvest|
I had been intending to leave my Borlotto beans on the plants until the pods had dried and gone brown, but I changed my mind. I have seen so many lovely pictures of Borlotti on other peoples' blogs just recently that I couldn't resist the tempatation to set up my own little photo-shoot. After all, the pods will dry just as well in the bottom of the airing-cupboard!
Anyway, here are some of the photos I took... They don't really need captions. These beans have to be THE most photogenic of all veg, don't they?
|This batch was about 600g|
I also thought about using the beans fresh or "green", like flageolets, but I decided against this. I want to dry them and keep them for later. What I picked today represents about half of my total crop of these beans. I left on the plant those pods that looked fairly green still, or quite thin. Hopefully they will be able to put on a bit more weight and colour-up some more before the advent of frost kills off the plants.
For the record, these beans are a variety called Lingua di Fuoco (Firetongue). The seeds were from Thompson & Morgan. I think I eventually had about 6 plants. I say "I think" because in all honesty my Borlotti were sown with a degree of desperation. I had had a lot of trouble with Vine Weevil larvae, which killed off most of the earlier sownings of all the beans - runners, climbing French beans Cobra, Italian Gold, and Borlotto. I then went through a stage during which I sowed loads more bean seeds of every type, sticking in about three times as many as I really needed, in the hope that some would survive! And in due course, once the Vine Weevils had eaten their fill, I was left with a goodly (and unknown) quantity of bean plants growing up the poles, all inter-twined. Next year I will be more ruthless and systematic with the use of nematodes to kill off those darned weevils...
For some further thoughts on growing beans, see my earlier blogpost called simply "Beans" (16th August).