A Place for Vegaholics

GENETIC PURITY IN ITTON

This year I am conducting an experiment in how to conserve genetic purity when growing a highly promiscuous runner bean for the Heritage Seed Library. Stenner is a wonderful old English variety which produces an abundant crop of very long – often prize-winning – delicious beans. However, runner beans cross-pollinate for a pastime so growing them for seed means they need to be isolated from other runner beans; not an easy thing to do if you have neighbours who also grow beans… unless of course you persuade them to grow the same one, which is exactly what is happening on…

2 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

SEED SOWING, SAVING AND SHARING

It’s that time of year, when I start to fantasise about my vegetable successes in 2015. Of course everything will grow perfectly but the reality is always different. Successes are tempered by failures and lessons always learned. Already I have the HSL onion Up to Date growing in the greenhouse so I can be sure of a good crop which i can then store through next winter to grow on for seed in 2016. In the first polytunnel that I have erected in my new vegetable garden Omani garlic is growing strongly despite the cold weather – or maybe because…

2 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

HEIRLOOMS AND OFF-LIST VARIETIES DOING WELL

It’s that time of year when the veggie plot is operating at full capacity and daily harvesting yields lots of yummy goodies. This year I have a number of heirlooms and unusual vegetables in my collection I am growing both for the table and for seed. A lot of these will be available later in the year to share and swap, although much is for the benefit of Garden Organic and the HSL. So, here’s a start. TOMATOES I was given some seed by a lovely Swiss collector of a green variety which when fully ripe has a yellow blush…

3 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

THE ANGRY BEAN IS IN A GOOD MOOD

This lovely Lima bean is from seed that was given to me by fellow vegaholic Anne Wafer who lives in the Slovak Republic. Anne believes it is the same as the Angry Bean I discovered in Burma last year and I think I agree with her. If this is the case then this bean is also known in the US as the Christmas Bean, a very rare heirloom. The flowers look identical but Annne’s seed is more prolific with a fabulous set. I am pinching out the plants at two metres, although, like my crop last year, they will grow…

3 years ago 2 Comments Short URL

CATALAN DISCOVERIES

A week in the Garrotxa region of Catalonia has proved most productive for this humble seed collector and saver.  It all started with a chance conversation and an introduction to Jesus Vegas, (pronounced Begas), who lives near Montagut close to the border with France.  A passionate protector of both Catalan and Spanish native and heirloom vegetables, I was able to spend several happy hours checking out his library of some 150 varieties and admire his wonderful garden where he grows heirloom and local varieties for food, to sell and to share the seed with a group of about 50 like-minded…

3 years ago 7 Comments Short URL

THE BIRTH OF A NEW VEGETABLE GARDEN

Finally I believe I have found a new home for my veggies, and even though we have yet to complete on the purchase, I have started work on a plot that has been sadly neglected for many year, but promises much.The plan is to initially create 14 raised beds in an area of approximately 12metres by 10 metres which will be fenced against all four-legged intruders. To the north of the plot in full sun will be two 10 metre x 5 meter polytunnels and one 10 x 5 fruit cage. To the east of the vegetable plot will be…

3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

IT MAY BE WET BUT THERE IS WORK THAT CAN BE DONE

I am often asked, “What should I sow now?  What can I do when it is so wet? What can I do to be able to garden now?”  Well, it may be raining and pouring, the ground may be sodden, but all is not lost. I am a passionate believer in working with raised beds.  Anyone who has them will be able to start work sooner because with a raised bed you avoid compacting the soil by walking all over it.  I am currently living in a little cottage with a tiny garden whilst I search for a new home. …

3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

THE ANGRY BEAN HAS PROVENANCE

It was with delight and surprise that I received a tweet the other day (my Twitter tag is vegoutwithadam) from a lovely lady whose tag is Skannie. She suggested that the Angry Bean might well be the Christmas Lima.  So I Googled the bean and found this wonderful site.  http://diaryofatomato.com/2013/10/23/christmas-lima-bean-stew/ I have no doubt it is the same bean.  See my earlier blog about the story of the Angry Bean.  Now I want to try and discover just how this wonderful bean has found itself in both the US and also Burma/Myanmar.  Being a Lima bean it must have originated in South…

3 years ago 1 Comment Short URL

OMANI GARLIC RACING AHEAD

After a very mixed harvest of the Omani garlic I received back in June 2012, planted up in the autumn of 2012 and harvested in late July 2013, both in a polytunnel and outside I selected the best cloves to plant again to see if I could get a better harvest this year.  At the end of November I planted up cloves as well as cloves of Provence Wight and Chesnok Wight.  As you can see from the photographs taken in the middle of January, the Omani garlic is racing ahead, although the habit is somewhat different.  Over the coming weeks…

3 years ago 0 Comments Short URL

THE STORY OF THE ANGRY BEAN

It has been a very long time since I last posted or did anything to update this website, for which I apologise. Torn between time growing, time in front of the computer and time looking after this website, only the first action has proved well spent! Today I am gardenless, having sold up and moved temporarily into a small house with a small garden. Fortunately I have been able to erect a decent-sized greenhouse in order to feed my addiction whilst I look for a new place to live and a new garden to create. The plan is to bring…

4 years ago 2 Comments Short URL