Purple Broad Beans

These are some of our overwintered broad beans. They went in directly back in late September and have done fantastically. A heritage T&M variety the kids were fascinated to be growing two colours. They shot up very quickly in the raised bed and we popped a netted tunnel over them in mid december. Am thinking I might get them to mash them up for a broad bean dip to make the most of that colour. Need to check some recipes and preserving tips as well. Would love to still have some for one of the schools community cook events.

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Mystery Radish

At Whitehall, at the end of one hideously rainy session we quickly threw some old radish seed I found in the bottom of my seed box into a pot. It got moved to one side the week after when I saw the pot with no label and realised I’d forgotten what I’d hurled in. Luckily, by the next week they were up and a quick taste confirmed my radish suspicions. Can’t wait for them to be big enough to harvest so that we can identify the variety

Purple Podded Peas

Adventures with Peas

This year for the first time we grew purple podded peas in three of my schools. They were from the lovely Mark Diacono and Otter Farm . After some serious sowing sessions we had a great germination rate and the seedlings all grew beautifully, when we transplanted them, they went into a traditional style raised bed with bamboo poles, they went into pots with sticks, in a trough and up onto the trellis up the side of the pagoda, anywhere we could fit them in. My favourite setting were these growing up the football field fence.

The first batch were ready just in time for the Year One’s at one school to harvest on their last session before the holidays. Huge excitement at the act of picking as some children had never picked something from a plant. Then the thrill of opening the pod and seeing the gorgeous green peas nestling inside, the crunch of peas, the conversations about who had the most in their pod. It was a fabulous session and reinforces to me why I do this job.

And it wasn’t just the Year One’s. At a different school I repeated the process with some Year Five’s, again some had never picked something from a plant and eaten it directly. The third school with these had planted them much later and we are still awaiting flowers so hopefully they will be ready in September.

Most of the children had never harvested something and eaten it straight from a plant. Can you imagine that?

For me, picking and harvesting was just something else you did. One of my first regular chores was making the mint sauce, for the lamb my uncle had given us, this meant simply picking some fresh leaves from the plant in mums garden. It never occurred to me that I was harvesting natural organic local produce, to use on fresh free range produce from a trusted local supplier, it was just what I did on some sunday mornings.

Wildlife hatching on the Hollyhocks

Bright Green Eggs

2015-07-08 15.25.26

Not quite sure what these are but they used to be bright green. The year one’s and I have been watching them for two weeks and are excited to see what they turn into. They are living on the underside of one of our hollyhocks.

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