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Advice changes just as fashions change.  One thing I query is the oft trotted out gem - pick vegetables young and small.  Well, I don't want a hulking great marrow, so ok about courgettes, but, really,  broad beans!  Who wants them tiny, wet and lacking in taste.  Mine are big, floury and strongly flavoured.  Ok, tough skinned and very few of them, unfortunately, but worth it.  I can hear people muttering about young peas, but no.  Don't want my vegetables sweet.  That's pudding in my book!


I like my broad beans very young, cooked in the pods. Very nice. Better than mange tout


The thing that put me off broad beans when I was young was that they were big and floury - as soon as I had my own garden and could pick them before they reached that stage, I began to like them, and now they're one of my favourite vegetables.  I either pick them when the beans are about the size of my thumb nail  (I have large hands) - still tender, definitely not floury, and full of flavour and, as Nut says, I sometimes cook (stem) them still in the pod.

And as for objecting to vegetables tasting like 'pudding' - well, there's no accounting for some people's taste buds, but  to me a tasty and delicious sweet pod of peas, picked and eaten before the natural sugars have turned to starch,  tastes nothing like a Pavlova, cherry clafouti or Iles de flottante (some of my favourite puddings ). It's a different sort of sweetness 

I suppose this is the best thing about groing your own, you pick it at the stage you want it, be it sweet or savoury

Not keen on broad beans, you lot can ave em

I'm in Hester's camp.

Small is not necessarily sweet. Carrots are not the sweetest for me untiltil they are 3" long....not the tiny thinnings that are supposed to be so good.  Lettuce too.....mine frow quickly.  Beetroot as well. Runner beans are best when 6 or 7" long.....not when smaller and not those huge things that have been missed when picking.

I once grew what I  jokingly called " crowbar" carrots.  Holes made with a crowbar and filled with fine sieved soil and composf and fish blood and bone.  2 seeds per hole. One seedling removed.  Carrots were whoppers and.......delicious.  (I must do this again )

However, Hester, I do like "sweet" but sweet and full size.  

I'm not convinced by the rapid obsession for raised beds the experts are pushing now. Yes, if soil is heavy clay, etc.., then raised beds are necessary but in most soils raised beds are not needed.  Often soil and compost are imported, the beds dry out too quickly, and growth is often forced.  Better to improve the garden soil



Further to my post above - I would agree about the rather odd fashion for 'baby' vegetables - carrots hardly bigger than 'thinnings' I would have discarded have no flavour at all - however they do look pretty on the plate - an example of form over substance 

I like raised beds for keeping things out of the dogs peeing range! And its much more comfortable to tend them, for me anyhow

I was dubious about micro greens but really like them now, im not keen on things like beetroot so use any odds and ends of seed for micro greens

I prefer young beans to chewy ones, carrots -probably somewhere inbetween like you verd, i dont bother with the thinnings but only because they are a faff!

I would ask who are the experts people who tell us their own likes and dislikes or forbid us to eat as we wish, we are our own experts, we know what we like, what is good for our particular needs and may it always be so.

I eat thinning's raw in salads, washed salt pepper a drop of Olive oil. I love beans young green and tasty, depends on the type you grow, peas bring them on raw or just cooked not stewed as often happens, mange tout? do not see the point, no peas just pod. Love beetroot steamed and eaten warm. Cabbage is a favourite, properly cooked, still chewy with pepper and butter a meal in its self.

Raised beds some need them and why not make gardening easy for people who through age or various problems cannot get down to it just keep growing your own however you do it.



We have a veg patch plus 3 raised beds - we dug out so many roots from our big ash trees to create the veg patch, we didn't want to damage the trees any more so when we needed more veg space raised beds were a solution.

It's not a perfect solution however because the trees send fine roots up into the raised beds seeking the moisture and every winter I have to fork it over and pull out the roots.  

Singing Gardener

Most of my vegetables seem to sneakily grow larger than I intended whilst I'm not looking but they taste great nonetheless. I'm currently catching up on over-sized Cobra french beans and yesterday had a delicious huge white beetroot (I've never grown a white variety before and it was quite hard to believe it would actually taste like beetroot, but it did).

SG.........interesting to read of your white beetroot.  I've looked at those as an alternative to the normal beetroot but somehow could just not imagine it

I find the same with the Yellow Dwarf beans (wax beans)...........just doesn't seem right altho I realise it is simply conditioning......beetroot is purple, beans are green.......maybe I need to modernise my outlook

Singing Gardener

The beetroot seeds are a "Quattro" mix, which is supposed to produce 4 different colours - red, white, yellow and red/white stripes. I've only had red ones and the white one so far so I think the others may have been more reluctant to germinate. It's difficult to tell them apart from the plant though.

I've also avoided "funny" colour beans or the same reason, although I do grow yellow courgettes!

Actually yes I also grow Yellow fact I've grown them since they were first introduced and I do prefer them to the green. that's my argument out of the window straight away


Coincidence or what - I've just taken advantage of a dry spell to go out and pick some Buerre de Rocquencourt was beans and a yellow Goldrush courgette for our supper this evening 


 The beans are delicious and so are the Goldrush courgettes. 

I admit I've never grown the yellow Wax beans.......I can recall a neighbour giving me a bag full when I lived in France.  They stayed crisp after steaming but I just didn't think they had the flavour of my green ones.  I don't know what the variety was....probably the same as yours Dove ?  Maybe I'll give them a go next year.

Could just be me as I think some of the newer plant varieties with peculiar ( to my eye anyway ) variegation of leaves look dreadful too........



Steve 309

Chacun a son gout really.   Any size of fresh organic carrots beat shop bought ones into a cocked hat, and you don't have to peel them to remove some of the pesticide either.

Only tried white beetroot once when a rogue seed had got into the packet.  Yum.

I'm with Hester.  I can't stand mangetout or petit pois.  Give me fresh peas with a bit of body to the every time.  The only veg I like really small is new spuds.

I agree you shouldn't leave them to become massive and stringy, but too small they haven't really developed any flavour apart from extreme sweetness.


Re broad beans. My granny used to hand peel them for my grandad and put them into his mouth, one by one. Ain't that love for ya? My OH, hearing this family fable, once asked me if I'd do that for him. HA!

Small raw broad beans.......delicious..........tho I've not yet found anyone willing to hand feed your Granny for hire Pansyface ?