We are seven months into making our garden. One of the first beds we planted was across the front of the house. We didn’t want to plant anything special because we have hopes of building a verandah in that very spot one day. But I love the feeling of coolness in summer that comes from any available breeze rustling through foliage. We decided on broad beans for their height, shade and edible crop. We have been harvesting broad beans for two weeks and I’m loving the convenience of stepping out our kitchen door into the crop. Time to make dinner? Arm oneself with a colander and pick broad beans. Even better if, after a humid day, you can feel the gentlest of rain falling on your back as you pick. We are sticklers for double peeling the broad beans. So many people have been turned off broad beans for life because as children they were served mealy, overcooked broad beans in their skins. The tenderness comes from removing the broad beans from their fleshy pod, briefly dipping the beans in a pot of boiling water, then pinching the base of the bean and squeezing the darker green bean into a bowl. Sounds like a lot of work and it is, but very relaxing at the same time. What better excuse to sit on a bench outside, drink a glass of wine, and watch the world go by than shelling beans? We’ve been adding broad beans to nearly everything. It is the sneakiest vegetable to feed children because they barely register its existence. Now, if only that row of oak lettuce would sprint along.