In late winter, we always sow crops of broad beans. Not only are they easy to grow and highly productive, but beans also enrich the soil for future plantings.
We are fortunate that Dad collects the end of season beans and dries them for following years, so we know that the seeds are fresh and chemical free.
Prior to planting, we till the soil and add compost. Broad beans can benefit from staking in windy areas, although the Valley is quite protected and our crops are often self-supporting. Germination is rapid and little maintenance is required, aside from a quick watering of Seasol on occasion and some hand weeding.
The crops are almost ready for picking now and we are looking forward to broad bean bruschetta once again! Simply blanch your shelled beans, then roughly mash. Grill slices of Italian bread or sour dough and after a generous brush with olive oil, top with the bean mash. Add freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. Delish!