We were very organised on the allotment this year. We planned over Christmas holidays because we did not want to be pipped to the post with seeds running out or not getting things in time.
We were keen to grow mange tout – or ‘mange toots’ as my littlest calls them. Our local veg stall at the market doesn’t usually have any and they are so expensive in supermarkets. So we thought an outlay of £3.69 was a good investment. We allocated one of our sunniest corners to the plant and have reaped the rewards ever since. In fact it’s a wonder we’ve had any to bring home at all as the girls have both been munching away at them straight from the plant. I’m not complaining. There’s nothing more magical than seeing the children devour food we have planted and grown ourselves.
A British bred variety
We didn’t consciously choose British bred seeds but when I found out that these were developed in Lincolnshire by one of Britain’s top vegetable seed breeders I was even more excited to see them grow. This particular variety is called ‘Shiraz’ (Pisum Satvium) and took eight years to breed and develop.
Planting is pretty easy as the plants only grow about a metre high. You could even use a large patio planter. We took the advice on the packet and planted at intervals so have had a continuous crop now for about 4 weeks.
The flowers are a spectacle too attracting bees and butterflies but nothing yet that has started eating our precious gems.
Enjoy lightly steamed or raw
I have no exciting recipes to share with you. These stunning pods need very little instruction. They are sweet and crunchy as you would expect a mange tout to be. Steaming tinges the edges a vibrant green. Either way they are delicious and well worth the minimal effort it took to plant them. In fact the hardest part of the process has been waiting! Waiting for the shoots to come up, the flowers to bloom and finally for the purple to magically glitter our plot.