Broad beans



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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