Broad Beans and Oriental Veg

Although it’s that time of year when there isn’t so much to do on our allotment, we always seem to find ourselves with a long list of jobs to finish off! This weekend we’ve finally got round to sowing some ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ Broad Beans into our newest raised bed. We left about 20cm between each seed and just hope that it’s enough space for the plants to grow well (provided of course that they germinate). We’ve also planted a few into plastic pots and have put them in the cold frame outside our back door, to see if we get discernably different results from each method. Steve’s sister Julie, whose a bit of a gardening pro, say’s it’s all about trial and error with veg gardening, and we’re slowly coming round to the idea that Julie might be right!

We’ve also started to lay a thick carpet of woodchip on the paths around our raised beds. We’re lucky that there’s a huge pile of wood chip for us to help ourselves to at the allotment. Hopefully this will suppress the weeds growing on the paths next spring.

We’ve still got one more raised bed to put in before the next growing season. Steve say’s he’s going to do it, but I remain unconvinced it’s going to be any day soon! Last time it took him all day to make two raised beds, although he was having a couple of beers with Chris (who runs our allotment) as he made them which he claims helped, but I think it did the exact opposite!

So what’s been cooking recently? Thanks to Lajos and his advice to put our butternut squash outside to ripen, we’ve been enjoying a few meals with these. Last Saturday we had some friends round for dinner, so Steve made homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter. It scored 10 out of 10 for flavour but less so for presentation as quite a few fell apart in the pan. The winning ingredient in the ravioli filling (apart from the butternut squash of course) was the crushed Amaretti biscuits that were added to the pulped squash, onion, garlic, butter and parmesan filling, it was gorgeous!

We’re also trying to work our way through our abundant stocks of Pak Choi (Joy Choi F1 and Red F1), Komatsuna, Mibuna and Mizuna. This week we’ve had Winter Couscous, Peking Style Vegetable Dumplings, Mee Goreng and Stir Fried Vegetables with Cashew Nuts which have all been lovely but we really are starting to appreciate what the word ‘glut’ means to all vegetable gardeners!


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