A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Harvesting heritage

We work in amazement – so many beans have been produced. Since late June’s mid-summer long days of warmth and light, our Hawkwood glasshouses have yielded over 50 kilos of fresh, “buttery, tender yet substantial” french beans. Some purple, some deep green and all wrapped in a slender, crisp pod – ready for gently cooking; steam for no more than 5 minutes and add to whatever you like. These Northeast London grown beans are a very special and unique variety of climbing french beans; known as the ‘Cherokee’ bean. The Hawkwood growers blog shares the “Cherokee” beans’ heritage – all wrapped in their violet blooms. This is certainly no ‘might have been’ harvest.

Many growing hands at this site have cared for these glorious climbing plants that stand tall in a newly created raised bed where concrete once lay. Small victories we whisper, as twice a week, a team of volunteers armed with harvesting baskets, cut these little beans for Organiclea’s local mid-week box scheme and our Saturday organic fresh-food stall at the Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street in Walthamstow. The beans will plump up throughout July – and we will keep sending them to our local markets and then it’s time for the dwarf french beans, growing steadily in our entrance field.

Categories:  News