This summer our runners beans produced so much we found it hard to keep up. We made Chutney, froze lots, ate masses & gave some away. Then one day I read this article in the Guardian newspaper by Alys Fowler. And I thought genius!
Alys suggested we should leave the pods on the plant til they become really big, stringy and rather inedible. Then we should do like the Europeans, dry them, store them and use them in soups and stews throughout the winter.
Well, after reading that, we stopped battling with the masses of Runner Beans and just left them to their own devices.
Last week we tore down the canes and picked all the drying pods. I then left them to dry on my window sill for a week, and today I opened the brittle pods and found these beautiful beans.
I don't know why we didn't do this sooner!
I have here White Lady (the white bean, which has also white flowers) and Sunset (the pink dappled bean, which has peach coloured flowers).
I plan to keep a few of each variety to re-plant next year.
The rest will be thrown in hearty stews over the winter.