• Overstrand Life

Thursday 19th August 2021 - More About Beans

What would we do without beans? Such a diverse vegetable which, depending on the type, are eaten whole (pod and beans), or just the beans. There can’t be many who don’t like good old tinned baked beans, a standard provision in many a kitchen cupboard or larder. There are, of course a host more different types of beans, which I won’t even attempt to try to list here but I will just say a few words about runner beans. They are a great favourite with most; I only know of one person who does not like runner beans but who grows climbing French beans instead. Originating from Central America, it was not the beans themselves that the plants were originally grown for but for their flowers. There are now many types of runner beans with the Greeks growing a variety which produces a white bean, fasolia gigantes, these are dried and are used in many different Greek dishes. Gigantes, soaked and cooked simply with tomatoes, onions and garlic make a warming winter dish. Over the years we have grown a number of different varieties of runner beans. We have now come full circle and grow the first variety we ever tried, Scarlet Emporer. Today’s photo features a spray of flowers yet to open and, with the aid of the bees, set beans.


Given the less than impressive summer we have had, with the added slug problem, it’s surprising we have had any runner beans at all this year, or much in the way of other summer vegetables either. I have hardly had my legs out, and worn shorts, at all. BBQ’s have, rather than featuring three or four times during the week, been reduced to once or twice, even less when it has been very damp and anything but warm. I was so cold on Tuesday, when it rained virtually all day, I ended up layering tops, like I do in the winter months and in the afternoon the heating cut in! Other summers there have been a number of nights when we have been able to sleep with the windows open and just a sheet to cover us – but not this year. So what can I say…..not a lot …….. we just have to make the most of the glimpses of summer we have had and hope there will be a few more glimpses to come before autumn sets in.