Monday, March 24, 2008


No writing this past weekend. Saturday's weather was too good - dry, sunny and breezy - so I spent the afternoon tilling part of the garden and preparing the long bed where I'm going to grow fava beans this year. It's been a tomato bed for the last two or three years and tomato diseases and pests were accumulating, so it was time for crop rotation. I didn't grow fava beans last year due to tomato-mania, but found a couple of new recipes I want to try more often. And the plants are reliable, hardy, and pleasant to look at. Favas are a form of the European broad bean which would have been grown in Britain in Gwernin's time (most of our current bean varieties are New World imports), and it's interesting that the Welsh word for "beans" is ffa.

I actually got the beans planted Easter Sunday, after the small amount of snow we had Saturday night had melted off. With another run of warm sunny weather expected this week, I should be seeing the first plants in 10-12 days. I was glad to get them planted this early - some years we still have snow cover/frozen ground at this point, but it's been a relatively warm spring. Fava beans don't mind a little frost, so the earlier they're planted the better.

In the cold-frame the tomato seedlings are still doing well - second true leaves on some the earliest ones now, and all remaining short and stocky due to the natural light and cool nights, a nice change from the spindly ones I've gotten in previous years when I grew them indoors under lights. I meant to take a picture yesterday while they were in the sun, but forgot - maybe next weekend.


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