The thing with allotments is that if you are not careful you will turn your back for a short while, come back and find that you have a glut of produce to deal with. This is fine if it’s at the beginning of the weekend and you have nothing else planned. The timing is not so good if it’s the day before you are planning on driving up to Scotland for a couple of weeks!
What to do? Well first of all avoid letting anything go to waste, then tackle it one bit at a time…
Broad beans have such soft and fluffy covers to keep the beans safe inside, once the beans have been shelled they are also a good addition to the compost heap.
Sitting in the sun in the allotment shelling beans is very relaxing, it also saves a journey bringing the pods back for the allotment compost bin, just chuck them in before you leave. This is where is was really handy to actually remember to bring the old takeaway containers along with me.
It was also quite therapeutic to do this and enjoy the peace and quiet, before the rushing about I knew was just about to come!
So this is what I ended up coming home with, broad beans, gooseberries, runner beans, fine beans, courgettes – yellow and green and brambles.
Next, what to do with it all:
- Broad beans – blanch in boiling water for 3 mins, double pod (remove the outer skin) then freeze for use later.
- Gooseberries – wash and open freeze.
- Courgettes – most transformed into chutney, a couple came on holiday with us – not because they needed the break and change of scenery, but because we could cook them for our dinner!
- Fine beans – top and tailed, blanched and frozen. Last year’s crop lasted for a decent amount of time, so much nicer to still be eating our own produce in winter than anything shop bought.
- Runner beans – quite honestly… I ran out of time to make any chutney or blanch them for the freezer, so I left them for my lovely neighbour who was kind enough to look after our menagerie, in the hope they could make use of them.