Last Saturday was definitely a days of ‘B’s!Runner beans in flower.

Here you can see just a fraction of the runner beans we now have coming into flower -and fruit in a lot of cases.  These beauties are by the entrance to the Therapy Plot, and were planted a week or so after the others further back into the plot.

By the next weekend after this -if not before- we’ll be stocking up our freezers and desperately looking for bean recipes on ‘Google’!

Purple French climbing beans in fruit.Here you can see just one of the poles of other beans -this time some purple climbing French beans that are particularly delicious lightly steamed (…to try to preserve the excellent colour…), or even quickly stir-fried in a hot wok.

Of course, this being LEAF and all, we don’t mind at all when we send a volunteer out with a bowl only to have them come back quite some time later with it empty and with a guilty look on their faces!  Its quite funny, really, but there a quite a few volunteers who when they first started with us regarded the word ‘vegetable’ in much the same way as you’d regard the words ‘shop-lifter’ or ‘mugger’, they were so ‘against’ them.  Just a few months later having first planted, then tended and now finally picking (..and eating!..) them, they’ve completely changed their minds.

And on to our bees!Wot, no bees?!

Here you can see our hives as of last Saturday, and as you can see, most of them have gone!

Jez, our ‘Chief’ bee-keeper had been the other day to move some ‘supers’ (…those are the multi-story’ boxes on the bottom brood boxes…) over to these two ‘nucs’ (…Pronounced ‘Nukes’…), and he’s taken the rest of the nucs away with him.

“Where have they gone??!!” You excitedly shout (…well, we did…).

They’ve gone on holiday!

I kid you not!

Because its the heather-flowering season, Jez and quite a few of the other Sheffield bee-keepers have taken some of their hives onto the moors surrounding Sheffield to let the bees collect the pollen from the heather.  ‘Heather Honey’ as its known is highly sought after and much more expensive than ‘normal’ honey.

So, while the rest of the colonies are away, the ones left are busy pollinating all our many flowers.  Wonder if they’ll get postcards? “Heather is nice.  Wish you were here!”

Possibly…

And so finally onto the ‘Berries’.  Blackberries, to be more specific.Blackberries, anyone?

Millions and millions and millions of them.

Hopefully this Saturday we can persuade some of the Plot Kids that it would be a really, really good game if they each took a massive punnet out to them and we can have a competition to see just who gets the most.

Then, I’ll have to get some muslin to strain the pips out, then this year, I shall make Blackberry Jam!  I threaten to last year, but this year, what with having a new kitchen and cooker and plenty of jars for it, I really must give this a go.

But I must use a muslin strainer.  I remember eating blackberry jam last year with scones and whipped/clotted cream, but had to spend hours later with a tooth-pick getting all the ‘pips’ out of my teeth.  It really took the pleasure out of this excellent fruit.

Well, not this year!

…Anyway, my coach has truly turned into a pumpkin, so I’d better leave it for there, Dear Reader.