Here's the first batch of 2012 Runners:
No photo of the cooked beans I'm afraid. We were in too much of a hurry to eat them...
Runner Bean plants are notoriously thirsty, so with all the rain we have been having I am expecting a good crop. The plants are just "dripping" with pods.
With a bit of luck I'll have enough to freeze some, because we really do enjoy having home-grown Runners in the middle of Winter -- especially for Christmas Dinner!
A point to note for anyone growing beans for the first time: you really do need to pick the pods as soon as they are mature, even if you are not planning to use them immediately. If you leave them to get very big not only will they be tough and less pleasant to eat, but also the plant will stop producing more pods. Runner beans keep quite satisfactorily for a week or so in the fridge - even longer if you use those "Stayfesh" bags (I'm a great devotee of them. I think they are very effective indeed.)
This week also saw the first viable picking of tomatoes. These ones are a mixture from my 3 Cherry type plants: Maskotka, Losetto and Lizzano. The first little batch was only about 50 grams:
But the following day I picked a more respectable 332 grams:
So far I am managing to keep the blight under control, and it looks as if I will get a reasonable, though not huge, harvest after all, despite having to cut off large chunks of most of the plants.
I'm adding a postscript to this article, so that I can legitimately link to Ren Behan's "Simple and In Season" link-up. My view is that Runner Beans are so wonderful that it is a shame to mess about with them - so I strongly advocate my simple way of serving them - as described above. And to just to inspire you, here's a photo of some beans I harvested from my garden this week. Enjoy!
Your runner beans looks very prolific. Nice shining tomatoes.ReplyDelete
Only green tomatoes so far for us but some runner beans are just beginning to set. We have had a picking of French beans though.ReplyDelete
I have plenty of teeny tiny runner beans but none big enough to eat yet. My dad likes to eat his runner beans in a similar fashion to you, though he likes vinegar on his also.ReplyDelete
Oh yum. I love beans. Last year I let my runners set though as I wanted to eat them as dry beans and shelling beans.ReplyDelete
I haven't had a bean in a out 45 years or so. I cannot wait to try my own. How do you know when they are ready to be picked? Also, Mark, how do you know when a brandywine tomato is ready?ReplyDelete
Erin; Knowing when to pick is very much a matter of judgement based on experience and personal tastes. I like to pick Runners before they get too big - so at about a length of 8". Also, don't leave them until the beans inside have swollen, or they will be very tough. They also seem to go a darker colour when they are very mature. As for the tomatoes - well, go by colour in the first place, but also a gentle squeeze will give a good guide. If there is a bit of "give" it will be ripe, but if it is still very firm it won't be.Delete
I haven't even had my brekkie yet and now I'm wanting a portion of runners!!!ReplyDelete
That is probably why my scarlet runners never produced, it was probably a very dry year for us--like most summers. Yours look wonderful as always and I am sure your cherry tomatoes will be appreciated just as mine were. Love the picture of all the beans on the vines. You are going to have a really great harvest of beans this year by the looks.ReplyDelete
Wow... those tomatoes and beans look great! I cant stop think of those cherry tomatoes looking like jewels among some home made pasta. May be even in some delicious summer salads. Yum yum!ReplyDelete
Love the colour of runner bean flowers - it's a particular orange-red. Enjoy the colour and the beans!ReplyDelete
Those beans are nice and straight! I bet they were delicious!ReplyDelete
I almost didn't comment on this post as I am so envious of your beans. Mine are pathetic compared to yours and as for ripening tomatoes - non-existant. So I reluctantly say - well done Mark.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Elaine. Praise from you is praise indeed! The beans are in "quantity production" mode now, so I expect to be able to pick a fair few this weekend.Delete
Have to say I’m with you on having a simple bowl of runner beans-nothing quite like it-apart from Asparagus of course!! My runners are now in full production mode-I’ve done ‘Best of All’ this year and have to say the flavour is outstanding. Which variety did you grow?