Monday, 19 July 2010

Beans, beans, overrun with runners!

Well, all good things come to those who wait! I have been eating runner beans everyday for the last few days-at last they came! I think it was a change in the weather after all and a drop of rain cooled the plants and enabled the flowers to set and form runner beans (ooh get me, quite the expert!)

Have managed to convince OH that NOT all runner beans are completely inedible, tasting as if totally made from string. MY runner beans are delicate little dinky, stringless beans (I think I pick them so early, due to my impatience - see Bitter Pepper later!)that they don't get a chance for any string nonsense.

Bitter pepper - yeuchk! couldn't wait to pick my lovely green pepper - what a disappointment, really bitter and horrid. Since found out picked far too early.....

Still, plenty to look forward to. Hand pollinated the one and only decent looking courgette this morning. There have been some promising looking courgettes but they always seem to shrivel and drop off (!) and I think this is due to lack of pollination. So this morning I took the male flower and shoved it into the female flower (no foreplay or anything....) and hopefully that's done the this space.

At the moment have runner beans daily, the odd strawberry (and I mean odd...) the hope of courgettes, a few teeny peppers coming again, the beginning of chilli peppers, plenty of tomatoes-just none of them red yet!, a cucumber plant that I have no idea how that develops, some dwarf beans, about three pea pods (no glut there then) and some more runner bean plants.

Yummy, yummy, yum!!!!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Okay, an update on my veggies. I have had a total of 4 strawberries so far and....that's it! The courgettes and runner beans appear to be suffering from lack of pollination. The flowers are falling off the runner bean plants without leaving an 'ickle runner bean behind, and the courgettes are dropping off before forming properly-both of these problems, I have been informed, are due to lack of pollination.

Lack of pollination must mean lack of bees, yes? Then how come I trod on the "one and only" bee in my garden this afternoon!!!! Let me tell you treading on a bee (in bare feet, no less) is not a very clever thing to do. What was it doing on the ground when it could have had the pick of the bean flowers and courgette flowers anyway! Anyhoo, I trod right on the bee, the bee fought back in the only way it knew how, and I was left limping and running for relief of some kind into the kitchen. I tried: plunging foot in cold water with ice cubes added, then resting my foot on an ice block from the freezer, then dabbing with vinegar (?!?)frantically searching the internet and then, embarrassingly phoning NHS direct:

ME: "I've just been stung by a bee-how long until I go into anaphalactic shock?"

IRRITATINGLY PATIENT NURSE: "Do you have a rash? Do you tingle? Have your lips swollen? Do you feel sick? Can you breathe???? Do you feel you are about to collapse?"

ME:"Er no, no, no, no, yes, nooooo"

IRRITATINGLY PATIENT NURSE: "Well you'll probably be okay then - take a painkiller"

ME: "Okay, sorry to trouble you......thanks....."

And I hang up... the only thing redder than the tiny bump on my toe being my face..oh and the tomatoes (unless they need fertilizing too?).

But, hey, thats what NHS direct is for isnt it? OK, maybe not.

Well at least Ive learnt my lesson not to venture into the wild outdoors with no shoes on.