25 August 2015

Asparagus peas

Each year, I like to try growing something new in the veg plot – either a vegetable that I haven’t grown before, or, in the case of asparagus peas, something I haven’t eaten before. Earlier this year I was given a copy of James Wong’s Homegrown Revolution. Wong’s book is full of unusual new species to try. Asparagus peas sounded interesting, and looked pretty easy to grow, so I got hold of a packet of seeds.

Asparagus peas (with a few mange tout)

17 August 2015

10 things to do with runner beans

Runner beans are a veg plot stalwart, which can be harvested in southern England from about mid July until the end of October. They can also be found in good-quality greengrocers. Being climbers, they can be grown up a wall or fence, taking up a fairly small amount of ground. They are one of my favourite beans, but by about August it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed by huge gluts of runner beans. It can be difficult to think of different things to do with them, so I thought I would share some of the things I have been doing with runner beans recently.

7 August 2015

Kohlrabi slaw

In the last few years, I have discovered kohlrabi - a particularly odd looking vegetable. It has a relatively mild flavour raw, like a tart apple with a hint of cabbage. Although at first-glance kohlrabi appears to be a root vegetable, the bit one eats is in fact the swollen base of the stem. It is a member of the brassica family, but lacks the funkiness or pepperiness that most other brassicas have raw. It is also lovely cooked, where it takes on a fuller creamy flavour, with a hint of artichoke. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten like spring greens.


3 August 2015

What's in season in August

August is a month when a great variety of fruit and veg is in season. In the lingering days of summer, tomatoes and stone fruit ripen, and beans and courgettes provide a great bounty of produce. As the month draws to its conclusion, we often get the first signs of autumn: cool dewy mornings and darker evenings. This is reflected in the produce available, with the first of the wild mushrooms, blackberries, cobnuts and the earliest apple varieties. The Glorious Twelfth, when the grouse season begins, heralds the start of the game season.

August days on the South Downs