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Crisp and juicy beans are a real treat fresh from the garden, says Rob Smith, and easy to grow too – even if you only have a window box
French beans come in a range of colours
Climbing beans will need the support of canes which they will wind themselves around

Iremember many moons ago flying back from Kenya with 14 tonnes of French beans in the hold along with all the suitcases.That’s perhaps not as ethical as I would like with all the food miles, but it really does show you our love for these pencil-thin beans.Then again, China beats that number with ease, producing more than 15 million tonnes of French beans per year, most of which are eaten and not exported…that’s a few more than I grow in the garden!

“I always like to plant my climbing French beans with some sweet peas in between them; this is something that my grandad always used to do”

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250th issue! Sweet success - Grow bumper crops: Climbing beans... Sweetcorn... Blackcurrants Digging for the future - meet the kids that know their onions Discover - Veg in the garden of Eden (Cornwall!) Make more of your herbs Don't just smell the roses - eat them too! PLUS: Build a bamboo wall frame - Make your own delicious summer cordials