Broad beans are a very hardy and reliable source of protein.
They are also legumes. We have
been growing them for a number of years and saving seed.
The varieties we grow at the moment are
bunyards exhibition, sutton, optica, red epicure.
We also grew faba beans last year. Faba beans are
basically a small type of broad bean which is not
picked when green, but allowed to ripen completely and dried.
I bought them from from an Asian shop and planted some last
year, and saved seed
I suspect that some of the other broad bean
varieties may be good for this purpose, especially the small
seeded varieties like optica. I'm comparing seed yield from
different varieties this year in plot 5.
On my windowsill is a single bean which I found sprouting in
the allotment this spring,
and took it home for safe keeping. I suppose it must have self seeded and survived the winter.
I grew Aquadulce claudia in 2000/2001, and it may be one of them.
Aquadulce claudia is supposed to be a very hardy variety, suitable
for planting in the autumn. I tried it, but it didn't seem hardy
enough for the Aberdeen winter, the plants grew stunted, and
the pods didn't look appetising, so I thought I would
save seed for a year, and try and
breed something a bit tougher from them. Unfortunately, the beans
ripened quickly and either rotted or dropped off the plant
when I wasn't looking. Whatever it is, I will be
saving seed from this bean
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