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Is there a way to tell if the beans are ready when they are still in the pod? I've opened a few big pods and the beans themselves are a bit on the wee side. Seems like a bit of a waste.

Feel the bean size through the outer pod to find out the size. Depending on where you are , it is a bit too early for fully mature beans.

Right, I'll give that a go. I live on the South Coast. Like I say the pods themselves are a fair size. I guess they just havent filled out inside.


Greg, bear in mind that the nicest broad beans are the young ones, before they develop the outer shell that quickly toughens up. You can use them without shelling.


Mine are overwintered Claudia Aquadulce and I picked the first pods at the weekend - a bit smaller than my thumbnail but so sweet and tender.  You don't want to let them get much bigger than that or they'll be tough and floury.  Pick the larger pods first and let the others grow on.  Also, don't forget they'll need watering to help the beans swell 

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