Last winter I sourced 16 of the earliest varieties of runner beans / løpebønner (Phaseolus coccineus), a bean that is marginal in maturing (for seed) in my area. I decided therefore to try and create an earlier maturing landrace for my area. The varieties I grew can be found at the bottom. They were started indoors and transplanted out in the Væres Venner Community Garden in Trondheim in early June, all planted close to each other. Here they are in flower in mid-August:
Despite a very wet autumn there was quite a good yield of mature beans; a good start!
As with my broad bean grex, I will select for earliness and diversity of colour. These varieties were used: Polestar (Chiltern Seeds) Celebration (Chiltern Seeds) Jackpot (Chiltern Seeds) Sunset Ruusupapu (Finland) Hammond’s Dwarf Scarlet Preisewinner (PHAS 8592/ German) IPK Gatersleben Bicolor (PHAS 212/ Slovakia) IPK Gatersleben (PHAS 8106/ German) IPK Gatersleben (PHAS 8158/ Slovakia) IPK Gatersleben Albiflorus (PHAS 8121) IPK Gatersleben Stengebohnen (PHAS 8143/ Netherlands) IPK Gatersleben Albiflorus (PHAS 8117/ German) IPK Gatersleben (PHAS 8124/ Austrian) IPK Gatersleben
I’ve started work on a local landrace of runner beans / blomsterbønner (Phaseolus coccineus). I sowed yesterday 15 varieties that are the earliest varieties I could find from commercial suppliers and the German genebank IPK Gatersleben! Runner beans are marginal here, only ripening with warm frost-free autumn weather, preferably against a warm south facing wall!
Thanks to Raphael Maier who told me that the IPK Gatersleben have phenological data for part of their collection of over 400 runner beans. I therefore looked for early flowering and early ripening data when selecting varieties.
The assumption is that it will eventually get warm enough to plant them outside at the community garden Væres Venner where I will run the trial! Currently still only maximum 8C and the 10 day forecast shows much of the same with low pressure dominated weather and only a slight increase to 10C.
I had been asked if I had photos of the roots of chicory (sikkori) and sweet cicely (Spansk kjørvel) for a talk about wild edible roots. I therefore dug some from the garden. Inspired by traditional Mediterranean ways of preparing wild and cultivated vegetables, I boiled the roots and they were then stir-fried with onions and winter chantarelle mushrooms before being added to scrambled egg (see the pictures for more). All the roots on the perennial chicory were far too fibrous to eat, but the sweet cicely roots were good (at least the younger ones!) More or less any vegetable can be prepared this way! Simple is best!
The climate is such here that starting runner beans / blomsterbønner (Phaseolus coccineus) in mid-May they normally aren’t ready to harvest until September and the first frosts in October usually stop their development. Growing seed to maturity is also a challenge in many years, so it’s difficult to select better and earlier varieties more suited to my climate. Early October and we are only just managing to eat all the runner beans. Only once in the almost 40 years I’ve been growing them here was there such a big harvest that I had to preserve them. Not having a freezer, they were salted for later use. These were used in a fish soup this week, sliced using an English runner bean shredder! I grew two varieties this year, the heirloom Painted Lady with bicoloured red and white flowers and red flowered Firestorm with very long stringless beans. Firestorm was a little later. They were transplanted outside at home and in the Americas part of the World Garden at the Væres Venner Community Garden.
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden