I grew Edamame Beans this year. And a couple of days ago I harvested some. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything to come of the plants. I never saw any seed for sale while I was in the UK so I assumed that you couldn’t grow them. When I moved here the seed packets were everywhere so I thought, ‘let’s give it a go’. A bit like with the Watermelon – you know, what’s the worst that can happen?
So I sowed the seed. Pretty late in the season actually. Around early July time. They shot up. And just carried on growing. The plants are about two foot high. But one of the best things about them is that they don’t need staking. They just stand up by themselves. A little bit like a French Bean bush.
The beans started to appear, and fatten but I had no idea when to harvest them so I looked it up. Edamame beans are actually immature Soybeans so you harvest them when the pods start to swell with something the size of a large oval pea inside.
Then you harvest them, boil them in the pods for five mins or so until the pods turns a slightly olive colour. Then you can either pop them out and use in salads or sprinkle salt and eat them by squeezing the pod between your teeth until the bean pops out and discarding the pod. That’s the way I’ve eaten them in restaurants.
They’re a pretty cool crop. No bother really and the results are plentiful.
Today I cleared away the Pepper plants and rescued the last little Peppers that were still clinging on. The rain has been very heavy here and my Pepper plants were almost horizontal. Goodbye until next year. So they went in the compost bin and the teeny Peppers came inside. They may or may not be edible. We’ll see.
As you can see I have some seedlings growing in the greenhouse. They are Winter Density Lettuce and I plan to grow them in the small bed that I have inside the greenhouse. I’m planning to sow some Radish and Corn Salad too. Just to lift our salad spirits in the depths of Winter!
Next year I might have a go at Salad Burnet, now that Monty was talking about it last week on Gardeners’ World (still love that show). But then I want to do everything that Monty does. I even scratched my lawn and forked some drainage holes in it today. Teacher’s pet.
Well, my Beetroots have been amazing. I sowed three rows of them and it’s been a bumper harvest.
They really are beautiful plants. We bought one of the those little devices that slices things really thinly. And then baked them to make Beet crisps. EVEN the boys ate them. Incredible.
The photo of the day is my Onion harvest. They’ve been drying in the greenhouse and are now ready for storing. They are pungent! Super strong and very juicy. Tissues at the ready. Remember to store them in a ‘breathable’ container. Baskets with big gaps are perfect.
The Patty Pan Squashes have landed. In my garden at least. I love this photo. It’s an optical illusion because they look huge but in actual fact they are only about 4 inches across. They’re cute and oh so snowy white. I love the way that they just appear. One day they are tiny little flower-like buds then next day they are this size. Perfect size.
If you want a nice ‘talking point’ plant then this is your baby. Everyone – and I mean everyone – that comes into the garden comments on them. Most don’t know what they are, the others know what they are, have grown them, want to grow them again or remember them from when they were a kid. They are a very memorable plant. And look great in the basket on the kitchen work top. Use them like Courgettes or Zucchini if you will. The smaller the better.
One of the biggest successes I’ve had this year in the garden is my green Tomatoes, Aunt Ruby’s German Green. They are a big variety producing large, heavy, beefsteak-like Tomatoes. The difference is they never turn red – but they do ripen. Basically, they will turn slightly yellow at the bottom but essentially still be green. And boy do they taste good. They are the juiciest Tomatoes I’ve ever had and the flavour is out of this world.
The only downside of them is that they are a little hard to spot (being green and all). I have missed a few of them in the undergrowth and they went too mushy to eat. I was kicking myself because they are a precious commodity here at My Tiny Plot. I think I might have four plants and each one has produced around five or six Tomatoes. But next year, oh next year, I will be planting more. I may even dig up some evergreens to make room. Crazier things have happened.
And because of their interesting colour they are very photographable. So expect to see some more shots of them cropping up here and there.
The Tomato harvest is in and there’s tons of them! This little haul was just one picking last week. There are more ready now. The large black ones are the Black Krim that I’ve been growing in the greenhouse. They taste amazing. Strangely, one of the plants is producing large yellow Tomatoes instead of the usual dark red with black tops. They taste the same as the rest but look differently. I’m saving the seed to see if I can replicate it next year.
The others are Speckled Roman, Italian Roma, and Yellow Pear.
All of them have a wonderful sweet taste and I’m very happy with them except the Italian Roma. I know they are best for canning but they really do have a mealy texture and they are not very sweet. Maybe the second wave will be better.
The haul doesn’t stop with Tomatoes. My Artichokes are still producing amazing globes and my California Orange Wonder Peppers are starting to turn colour, and the Hot Chillies are ripening too.
It’s all happening in the garden here. We can’t keep up with what’s coming out of the garden – especially the Squashes!
The title of this post comes from a very funny video called ‘The Food Snob’s Guide to Heirloom Tomatoes‘. Watch it. Please!
I’ve been harvesting my purple French Beans (also called Bush Beans) and there are tons and tons of them. Once the bushes get to a certain size they just keep pumping out the beans, non-stop. Unfortunately, they don’t stay purple and turn green when you cook them. But they still look amazing on the bush and when you pick them. I love the deep colour and the lightly furry skin which again disappears when you cook them. You can also eat them raw, of course, and they give a great crunch when sliced into a salad.
I always sow French Beans late in the season as they are a really good second crop and will still produce right up until the first frosts if you time it right. They also don’t take up much room and you can plant them really close together and it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I’ve seen them growing in the fields planted maybe two or three inches apart. A very versatile crop.
I harvested some Artichokes this week. Two globe and one purple. I’m so impressed that the plants are producing Artichokes this year and I only grew them from seed this season. Artichokes are big, big plants but if you have the room and full sun all day they are the perfect architectural plant giving both height and abundance.
Some of the globes did have some black fly on them – the bane of Artichokes. You can either spray them with a light water and washing up liquid mix or power wash them off with the hose pipe. I prefer powering them as it’s much more fun.
We normally eat them roasted and dipped in melted butter but there are some great recipes over at The Artichoke Blog too.
I’ve been really impressed with this variety of Cabbage. It’s a round, green one called Parel. These Cabbages were ready to eat around three weeks ago and we have been quietly eating our way through them one by one since then. What impresses me is that they are just sitting there waiting their turn. No bolting, no yellowing. They still look as good now as they did when they were first ready. Now, if this were a row of Lettuce we all know what would have happened!
We’ve been eating lots of the Riverford Asian Coleslaw with Peanuts and Chilli with some homegrown Carrots in there too. And it’s been heaven.
I totally recommend this variety and will be growing it again next year. Definitely!