The Giant Beanstalk


I am totally the kind of person who would swap their cow for some magic beans proffered by a stranger encountered on a road. I suspect this is why Iggy Pop is rather suspicious of me at times. However,  I am not the kind of person who would climb a giant beanstalk. It isn’t so much that I am scared of heights – which I am – but really beanstalks are not the most stable of structures.

The broadbeans in my polytunnel of dreams grew prodigiously and then they kept on growing. Here is an appalling selfie of me next to one so you get an idea of their height. Please don’t mock me, I know I have dirt on my face and I am grimacing, but this was my best attempt at a smile as I was utterly exhausted.

me and beans.jpg

The beans were more than 6 foot tall. I didn’t give them supports because when I planted them they were little and I have a hard job imagining the future. This of course meant that the beans collapsed – and they did this dramatically. They are now lying prone over the carrots, potatoes, some struggling tomato plants and the giant, basically freakishly large, kohlrabi.


I know you can’t really see their spectacular collapse in this photo but if you look at the back right – there should be a block of tall beans and instead there is a low-level mass of tangled green – trust me it is a prone broadbean forest smothering all other plants in a six foot radius. The astute among you will notice that there is one lone bean plant standing tall.

Anyway, my point is, we are doing our best to eat lots of beans. To this end last week I made a trout and broad bean tart – furtling around in the back of a freezer I came across the trout, ditto with regards to the internet and the  idea for the recipe.

Trout and Broadbean Tart: packet of filo pastry, some trout fillets (you could use salmon or leave the fish out all together), broadbeans (cooked and podded out of their tough skins), pot of double cream, 4 eggs, handful of dill, butter, seasoning

Use six sheets of filo to line a tart tin – brush each sheet with melted butter before laying the next on top. Break up the trout fillets into small pieces and arrange on the base. Add the broad beans and chopped up dill. Whisk the cream and eggs together and season. Pour the egg and cream mix over the trout and beans, fold the edges of the filo pastry into the centre and cook in a hot oven until done.


We ate it with lettuce as we have a lettuce-a-day rule round here.


For  those interested, the beans in the polytunnel were Leidse Hangdown from Real Seeds  and I will definitely be trying to save some seeds from these plants.

N.B. I used the rest of the filo pastry to make a dill borek, but more on that later – and yes, I promise to do a polytunnel update soon, I know I have been remiss, but things are crazy busy here at the moment…

N.B. definitely one for the food truck

8 responses to “The Giant Beanstalk

  1. Could you run string down from the top of the tunnel for the beans to grab onto? Kind of a like a reverse trellis?
    I’d love a tunnel but my lot doesn’t have room for one. Some day, I’ll have one!

    • I could perhaps, but they don’t have tendrils so I would have to wrap them round the string. I could put some string around the block of beans to try and keep them upright – or grow them against my fencing in the tunnel. Thank you for your suggestion – I keep promising that next year I will be more on the ball with my vegetables 🙂

        • I think we veggie growing you always have to be thinking of the next season or next year … I keep on telling myself that next year I will be better, not sure if I ever will, but you know …..

    • Thank you 🙂 not sure if hanging them from the roof would work – I could give it a try though – maybe twist the string around the beans.

  2. How you do everything that you do – work, grow incredible produce, look after your animals, make goats cheese, cook beautiful food, blog about it all and still manage to stand upright and take a selfie next to your beans is nothing short of incredible! The tart sounds amazing, as always 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 that is really kind. If truth be told I am always exhausted – that will be put on my gravestone – always exhausted, never bored!

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