Peas and runner beans like warm sunny weather so it’s no surprise that many of us have had bumper crops this year. We’ve received several emails and letters from customers delighted with their crops. It seems that right across the country peas and runner beans are clambering up homemade wigwams and clinging to plastic netting and canes. With their attractive and often jazzy red flowers they will also be adding nicely to the colour in our gardens.
One customer has worked as gardener at a stately home for over 50 years and has been growing Suttons supplied Hurst Green Shaft peas since they were first introduced. He tells us that the amount of peas to come off his 3 rows this year has been “fantastic”.
Another customer has been growing Suttons seeds for over 60 years and told us in a letter how he used to buy most of our seeds by the ounce but with peas and beans being measured by the pint. This summer he’s had an “excellent” crop from runner beans St George and Enorma and from 2 packets of Hurst Green Shaft peas he has frozen 20lbs of peas!
Both peas and beans need to be picked regularly. Beans need to be picked before the beans inside have started to swell. Leave beans to mature on the plant and it will just stop producing so it really is necessary to keep picking, even if you have run out of ideas as to what to do with them! Friends and neighbours are usually very grateful for some freshly picked beans but even they do occasionally cry “enough!”
Peas need to be picked when the individual peas have swollen in the pods but still have a little space between them. As with beans a pea plant will stop producing if pods are left to mature so keep picking.
Peas were the first vegetable to be canned today are the most popular of all frozen veg. Runner beans can be frozen but I feel are never as good as when eaten fresh.
So, does anyone have a good runner bean recipe that they’d like to share? Something more exciting perhaps than just slicing them and boiling or steaming?