On Sunday evening I went to pick a few broad beans, as you do. 30 degrees of daily sunshine and enough water to stop the plants keeling over has given the beans a big boost and, in one week, they've gone from smallish pods to fat beans. In short, they needed harvesting and I picked about 2 lbs (almost a kilo) of pods - more than I need so they'll be blanched and frozen. The plants are attracting a lot of blackfly now (despite being underplanted with nasturtiums) so I won't be sorry when the last few pods have ripened and I can clear the bed for winter veg.
|Plenty left to ripen (or get eaten by birds) after I'd filled my basket.|
I thought that was it for the day, bar washing and bagging my haul but fate had one more trick in store for me.
Back indoors again, I put the basket down and noticed an ant creep out from underneath. I squished it. Then another appeared ... then several. I lifted the basket - there was about 70 ants scuttling underneath! I put the basket down and slapped at the ants with my hands, lifted it and slapped at the next plague of ants, and so on. A bit pointless to keep putting the basket down so finally my brain engaged and I put the basket in the sink and filled it with water. As the ants struggled up to the top of the basket I was able to squish 'em. So that whiled away the hour that I should have been podding my beans. I can't bear ants indoors (or on me) so I had to give the kitchen (and basket) a good clean when I was sure I'd got them all; there must have been over 200 ants so I can only assume that I put the basket down near an ants' nest in the garden. I've learned my lesson - gather the harvest and come straight home with it!!
Now I have to decide what to use my cherries for: a clafouti, jam or some cherry and almond muffins. They're Morello cherries so quite sharp. It'll probably be jam or compote, giving a taste of summer in the middle of winter and enough over to give a taste to neighbours.