The broad bean (Vicia Faba) is one of the oldest known plants, dating back to the Bronze age. As I watered the plants this morning, I thought about all the human beings through ages past planting the seeds, watering and watching as they sprout and grow, picking off the aphids, and finally cooking and sharing the beans with friends, just like me. I planted 18 seeds into the earth last November and through the dark winter months they gave my plot a verdant spark, brightening the grey days. Reaching maturity, they now sway in the wind or splay out onto the grass (I always forget to stake). I love broad beans as do the aphids!
I pinched out the top shoots this morning, supposedly this stops the aphid invasion although I am not convinced, but I do I like the shoots lightly steamed with a little butter. Not only do they feed me through the summer and into autumn, they also feed my plot fixing nitrogen in the earth and once the crop has finished I use as a mulch. All this from a packet of seeds costing about £2.00.