Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Where Did I Go Right?

Last week we harvested the first of our broad beans and baby carrots - and what a pleasant surprise!

In contrast to last year's dismal broad bean harvest, this year's crop is entirely pest-free, healthy and gorgeous! In fact, there's not a single blackfly on the plants (sssshh!), and I didn't pinch the tips off. This is unheard of!

Similarly, while our carrots usually struggle and end up ridden with carrot fly (despite religiously planting them between rows of onions as companion planting gurus would advise) these are unmunched and in perfect health. In this case, though, I know what did it - we grew them in one of the raised salad beds this time, so the soil is finer, there's far less weed competition, and the carrot flies, which fly low along the ground, haven't found them. Hurrah!

I put this lot in a summer chicken stew (recipe here), as has become customary with the first of the broad beans. This dish is a joy, mixing beans, peas, carrots and new potatoes in chicken stock with mint and lovage (pictured above) - the herbs are fragrant and lovely and the sweetness of all the veg really comes through. I love it.


Martin and Amy said...


Beans and carrots look great!! :)

Martin :0)

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

Did you plant the seeds any earlier as this can affect pests too?

People swear by onion companions but I read that you need two rows of onions to every row of carrots and it is only effective when the onion leaves are actually growing.

Matron said...

That's really interesting about your broad beans. Last year I lost the entire crop to blackfly. This year I can't believe how clean they are! Like yours, there don't seem to be any blackfly. Perhaps the cold Winter did them in?

Nome said...

That's interesting, Matron. A blackfly-infested bean field near me shows that there are still plenty about! I think I may have sown mine (direct) later than usual - perhaps that's what's done it.

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