What are my special features?
Martock beans are a popular variety of Broad bean which belongs to (Vicia faba). The ‘proper’ colour for the flowers is a deep crimson with dark burgundy underneath, which fades slightly with age to a deep carmine. Martock beans are considered a cultivar; the flowers glow and become most beautiful in the sunlight. The plant is smaller and daintier than the conventional broad bean and grows to about 3ft high with three red tinged stems which stay up with support.
What is my history?
The bean has been grown for many years and takes its name from the village of Martock in Somerset where they originated and are still grown by the vicar. In the 12th century, Martock beans was dried and used for bean feasting. The bean is not a luxury food used only for feast days; it was an essential component of the average medieval survival diet. Main crop plantings start in March, and the bean can be sown at monthly intervals until the end of May, which will provide beans throughout the summer.
Why am I forgotten?
Martock beans are a traditional product that are no longer grown commercially, and relies on gardening enthusiasts for its continued existence. Martock bean is a low maintenance plant; it is great for beginner gardeners. It would be fantastic to see this bean brought back onto British plates.
Don’t lose me…cook me!