The ADAs presentations on Friday August 16thmade for a very enjoyable event. The presentations stimulated lively discussions about the various proposals which were both informative and encouraging. This event really encourages an exchange of ideas and experiences about the way ahead for sites across Glasgow. It is exciting to hear about how various sites are setting about contributing to a more sustainable future for the City through their activities. The awards for this year go to:
Croftburn Allotments for the South Area of the City,
Reidvale Allotment for the North East and
Hamiltonhill Allotments for the North West.
Cheques for £500 will be presented to the winners at the September 28thCelebration of Allotments .
Veg of the Month: Peas and Runner Beans
At this time of year peas and beans are important vegetables on the allotment.The pea harvest has always been a key source of protein as well as carbohydrate. Many varieties of peas can grow well in Scotland and the choice really depends on what you want to use them for: whether you want to produce delicate mangetout for stir fries or salads, or sweet garden peas for freezing, or peas, such as marrowfat, to preserve for later use by drying. Like potatoes, there are early peas as well as a maincrop.
You can start the pea and bean seeds in the greenhouse, polytunnel or even on a windowsill. Sow in peas in waves so you have a crop throughout the summer. Peas and beans like light and sunshine. You can grow them in a patch or around a set of sticks set up like a tepee. Runner beans need more elaborate structures up to 6-8 foot high.
One of the delights of summer is pea and lettuce soup. Braising the lettuce in a touch of butter it until it begins to brown and then blending this with cooked peas and and a few mint leaves makes a refreshing soup. We often discard the peapods. However you can use them to make a good pea stock. Wash, trim and cook the peapods. Then blend and finally strain away the liquid, removing the stringy parts of the peapod. This stock can be used for making soups or added to dishes like risotto.
Runner beans are beginning to climb up the beanpoles with their characteristic red flowers. Picking the small tender beans soon after they form is ideal. Regular harvesting keeps the plants producing. Runner beans can crop heavily and by September you may start to run out of ideas of what to do with them. We left one plant to grow ripe beans – which had a pinky, purple pattern. We used these like barolotti beans – a useful way of dealing with the glut.
Once the peas and beans are finished, cut back the growth and put this in the compost bin. The roots have a nitrogen-fixing bacteria so dig these into the bed. You can also use left over pea seeds as winter manure.
A5 posters for the Celebration of Allotments – please print off the attached file and circulate to advertise the event. Celeb Poster 2 x A5