‘specially bred for the British climate’ sounded ideal for experimenting with a plant you wouldn’t normally find on an english allotment. Soya bean Ustie promised pest and disease free plants with self-pollinating blooms and small, downy pods that remain weather proof through autumn. This summer’s weather has certainly put this claim to the test with black fly infestations to the right and blight to the left. All water off a duck’s back for this little fella which is especially heart warming for me as it’s the sole survivor from an original sowing of 20 beans. The mysterious non-germination of the other 19 beans was solved on a late night sleepy stumble to kitchen for a drink – a silvery trail inside a sealed propogator which could only mean a very smug slug hidden in the potting compost had been munching happily on my beans the whole time.
* notes for next time: sown 12th May, 25th May slug treachery discovered, 11th June planted out under a bottle to protect against wind and nibbling from slugs, 25th June first pods spotted. Ready to pick in September and harvested beans must be boiled to destroy inhibitors for protein ingestion (never eat uncooked beans)