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December 6, 2009 / Malcolm Dalebö

Jobs in December

Broad beans are the oldest of all our beans, dating back to stone age times. Mystical beliefs were that broad beans, when offered in marriage ensured the birth of a baby son. And these kidney shaped beans were important enough to warrant the death sentence for their theft from open fields.
In the past the broad bean was a staple food of the poor and often roasted and ground to make flour, but equally enjoyed by the rich, who served it with sumptuous rich sauces. With no class distinction food like this can be used as frugal or as fancy as one prefers.
Sadly they are a neglected vegetable, as this wonderful hard little bean offers such a robust flavour and is highly nutritious; full of phosphorous, vitamin A and C and is notably rich in protein.
Broad beans can still be sown in sheltered gardens for an early harvest in June next year. Choose a variety such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ for best results. If you sow ‘The Sutton’, then be prepared to offer some protection during the hardest months.
There’s still time to plant shallots in areas where the soil is well-drained, planting after the midle of the month is chancing your luck as we normally have our coldest frosts mid-January and the sets will not have had a chance to make progress before then.
It is worthwhile to check any stored vegetables regularly for signs of rot or rodent damage so that it doesn’t spread. Storage areas should always be kept well-ventilated and frost-free..
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2 Comments

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  1. Anonymous / Dec 10 2009 10:25 pm

    Planted 2 rows of Aquadulce Claudia and 40 shallot sets, so now I feel truly set up for Christmas. A bit of weed pulling and the year will be complete.Thanks for your original articles which I find really interesting

  2. Malcolm Dalebö / Dec 10 2009 10:26 pm

    Thanks anony, and the best news of all is that in about a weeks time we have the shortest day, and then we start heading towards spring again!

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