Seed Guardian, Wilton Estate Community Garden
I grew Greek Giant Beans at the Wilton Estate Community Garden in Hackney. The allotment space is part of the wider community garden that’s on this council estate. I’m the chair of the Tenants and...
Where the seeds came from
My Greek Giant Bean seeds came from the real seed company and I bought those in 2012. And the seeds that we planted this year are the great grandchildren of those original seeds, so I’ve grown them and saved them every year since I bought them.
They like it a little bit drier than we’ve been having it, because they are a variety that’s come from Greece, they’re used to slightly drier soil and a bit more sunshine and a bit more warmth. The first year we grew them next to the community hall, which is up against a brick wall. And that wall faces directly south. So they were getting residual heat. And they did extremely well there. Whereas this is much more exposed and there’s a lot of wind around here, and they haven’t got the space to grow. They will go metres up.
Debbie on Greek Giant Beans
You don’t eat the beans themselves, you’re after the seeds. They’re a soup bean. They’re originally from Greece, and they’re really lovely seeds, and I’ve used them in stews and soups. They add quite a bit of protein to a vegetable dish. They’ve got a much nicer taste to them than saving your runner beans or your large runner bean seeds.
How to save seeds
Let them dry off in the sun, and then when they are starting to go brown and dry, and then I would pick them off and put them in a cotton bag and hang it in the greenhouse and dry in there, and let them finish off. In October, when it started to get damp in the air, I took them up and they hung on the backdoor of my kitchen.