The last blog post was also all about the Vicia faba, winter field beans. They dominate the plot more than somewhat, being now 7ft high and occupying the 4th bed. Many of them are flopping over.
So I decided I'd have a go at harvesting them. After an hour and a half, I had two barrows-full of stalks, and a plastic loaf tray (a bit less than 1/2 metre sq.) full of pods. All of this from just a couple of square metres in the bed - I cleared the end of the bed, near the pond, where the beans had flopped over and covered the skinny path. I'm thinking, how the hell am I going to get these seeds dry? And, what an awful lot of beans I'm going to have.
The answer to the drying problem: leave the bloomin' beans on the plant until they dry out, (according to realseeds.co.uk). I'm just going to have to get over the fact that the 4th bed is now looking like a jungle. The thing to take away is, a patch of, say, 50sq ft sown in September, will yield enough beans 10-12 months later to sow the entire plot.
This year with approx 300sq ft sown, I'm going to have sacks-full. Which is fine. A neighbour is providing me with guinea pig bedding, and the Secretary is getting waste from a florist, contributing to the huge amount of compost I'm going to need for no-dig. So I owe a couple of favours, which I'll return in the form of beans.