broad bean fiesta

The warm weather that has bathed the country in sunshine over the last couple of weeks has been just what the doctor ordered for the broad beans. The beans tucked safely away in their pods have bulked up nicely. The beans in the first pick will be smaller than in the coming weeks - but the intense flavour of the first of the crop will

be fantastic. Stan sowed two batches; the first lot that are going into the boxes over the next few weeks were sown in October. They survived the harsh conditions of winter as tiny plants, before growing on as the soils began to warm in March. In Italy it is traditional to sow the crop on 'All Souls Day' (2 November). The day is set aside by the Catholic Church to commemorate the departed. The traditional bean planting on this day has resulted in them being known, somewhat gruesomely, as 'The Beans of the Dead'. Broad beans are also celebrated in Italy on St Joseph