I've just come in from the gareen, having harvested what I believe will be the final runner beans. Here they are, on the right. You could be forgiven for thinking I've taken leave of my senses (yet again, I hear you cry!), but I haven't. No, really, I haven't.
In the midst of death, we have life. Those dead-looking papery beans that you wouldn't give a second glance in the greengrocer's, contain next year's (and possibly the next, and the next) seeds. In this case, some of them are somewhat slimey, because I didn't collect them yesterday in the dry, but this evening after copious amounts of rain.
I wanted you to see how awful and unattractive they look, so that you don't despair when it comes to harvest your own next year - you know you'll want to give it a go - it's free, organic food!!
I mentioned the beautiful colours the other day, but I've taken this photo so that you can see how different they look to the small beans you find inside the runner beans when you're eating them. Those tend to be either greyish, if very small, or this lovely pink when they're middle sized. As they grow larger, and riper, they develop the delightful speckling that you can see, and the colour goes through a purply pink to the deep coral. They are beautiful - nature is a marvel!
Just for those of you who think size really does matter, here are some against a couple of tape measures. I've used a couple so that you can see inches or centimetres, whichever is your preferred measure. You see, I might have lost my mind, but I'm still considerate :)
I'm going to go and enjoy some of the beans with some sprouting brocolli and tiny Charente carrots, tossed with some potatoes and drizzled with toasted sesame oil and fresh lime juice. Yum!