Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.

Full of Beans

Now that the hazel arches have been built, it is time to start sowing the beans. The few hot days we have had recently have felt more like late June, but with the latest forecast of lows of 4 degrees these will be started off in modules in the polytunnel.

In 2015 ‘Marvel of Venice’ and ‘Selma Zebra’ were the top performers, visually appealing, delicious and gave good yields.

'Marvel of Venice'

‘Marvel of Venice’

'Selma Zebra'

‘Selma Zebra’

This is a reminder of our wonderful bean harvests in 2015.

We loved the ‘Orca’ beans but did not grow enough for the kitchen to really get their teeth into and turn into a menu item.

This year we will be growing those again but as ever are trialling new varieties from all over the world. This year we are trialling:

French Bean ' Signora Della Campagna'

French Bean ‘ Signora Della Campagna’

This looks like it could give ‘Selma Zebra’ some competition this year for the best speckled bean.



This bean was brought to the Americas with the pilgrims in 1620!

'Purple Kingsessing'

‘Purple Kingsessing’

A Native American favourite, this is one of the oldest beans still in existence.


'TrionFo Violetto'

‘TrionFo Violetto’

A beautiful climbing bean from our stockist Franchi.

Timed to perfection, a fat envelope with a customs declaration sticker lands on the mat as I type.

Monachelle Di Trevio

Monachelle Di Trevio

This is an incredibly rare climbing bean grown for the dried beans. It hails from central Italy. There it reaches heights of eight feet or more , I am hopeful that we can be successful here in Suffolk.

Climbing bean 'Bauhilde'

Climbing bean ‘Bauhilde’

This German heirloom is happier apparently in cooler European summers, with purple flowers and a height of 9 ft this should be a perfect match for the arches.

Climbing Bean 'Mushy pea'

Climbing Bean ‘Mushy pea’

It sound fun, very rare and rumour has it is delicious eaten fresh cooked like peas and crushed, but also stores well for the winter months.

'Coco Nain Blanc Precoce'

‘Coco Nain Blanc Precoce’

Lola went to France last year and raved about a nutty white bean she ate on her travels. We think  that this is the variety. I have planted these in the polytunnel this week and they look like a cross between a pea and a bean. Planting them them at the end of a hot day, I felt like a weary beached turtle finally covering her eggs.

Yes I sorted out that potential double yolker (for the beady eyed readers)


We also are attempting to grow chickpeas inside the polytunnels, so I will be keeping a close eye on those too. Apparently freshly harvested chickpeas are far superior to the canned varieties.

Today I really am ‘Full of Beans’ as we have announced our ‘Edible Garden Fair’ on 4th June.
It’s mainly exciting but also a bit scary.

I need to sow like I have never sown before! The courgettes, tomatoes, artichokes and cucumbers are ready, but there is still tons to do.

We plan on painting kids faces like vegetables. Hopefully the kids will be the only ones with red faces.

limegarden@sky.com • 13th May 2016

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