You’ll find something extra in your order this week – a little packet of local vegetable history – namely Joe’s broad beans.  Picked and dried last year at the CERES Merri Creek Market Garden* these beans possess the highly desirable quality of retaining their sweetness even when they’re big and they do get big, some of last year’s pods were over a foot long!  Originally planted in 1945 by our mentor farmer, Joe Garita see pic above), these are the beans that people from all over Melbourne come to the garden to buy by the boxful each season.  

Why are we giving Joe’s famous broad beans away you ask?   Because we want to see these bean genes, that are adapted perfectly for Melbourne conditions, to be handed on and grown by Melbournians for another 70 years.  Broad beans are grown the world over (no really they are, check it out for yourself, almost every food culture uses broad beans), they’re hardy, grow in poor soils, thrive in winter when not much else grows and along with lentils and peas are one of humanity’s oldest crops.   So take this handful of our leguminous heritage, plant them now and come October you’ll be eating sweet broad beans out of the pod.  And remember to save and dry a few extra seeds for next year and share them and their story with a friend.   

*The Merri Creek Market Garden is literally on the banks of the Merri Creek.   If you ride or walk along the bike path you’ll find it near the swing bridge just below Bell St in Coburg.  Say “hi” to farmers Vince and Heidi if you are passing.

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