Tag Archives: cima di rapa

Sowing this week

This week’s main task was planting out some of the broad beans that we sowed a few weeks back. They had developed into robust young plants in perfect condition for moving on. Whilst we planted out the peas in the polytunnel, broad beans do not do so well under cover as they rely on pollinating insects and the pods are often poorly filled. Destined as they were for an outdoor bed, I should have hardened them off for the last week or so. That simply involves getting them acclimatised to the cooler conditions outdoors, where they have been enjoying the protection of the polytunnel. Continue reading

Pasta with Cima di Rapa

Bowl of freshly picked cima di rapa

Bowl of freshly picked cima di rapa

Cima di rapa, also known as sprouting turnip tops, rapini, or broccoli raab, is the Italian name for a cruciferous vegetable that somewhat resembles broccoli, but produces only small flower spikes. As it does not grow to any great size, it can crop very quickly. This is our first year growing it. We sowed a few rows in the polytunnel at the beginning of April and it was ready for harvesting this week. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we started sowing more of the tender crops. We started with French bean Beurre de Rocquencourt, a dwarf wax bean bearing pale yellow pods. Whilst the outdoor crop of climbing French and runner beans will provide a heavy crop over a long period, they take some time to develop. A dwarf bean will produce a crop rather more quickly as they do not need to put on so much vegetative growth before they bear. I am hoping to find some space in the polytunnel for our first crop, which might also help a little. I could, perhaps, have sown a couple of weeks ago, but beans are tender and there is still a possibility of a frost, even in the polytunnel. I sowed in pots, several seeds to each, rather than direct, as I sometimes do with beans later in the year. In pots they are easier to protect from the cold and from pests. Continue reading