What to do with surplus Runner Beans?

This is the question we’ve been pondering in our household. And it seems to be quite a common problem.
We sowed about 20 of the seeds given to us by our nextdoor (allotment) neighbour. They all germinated, so we planted them all out. And then the fun began…

We’ve given them to family and friends, frozen them (the first lot without blanching, the second blanched for 3 mins) , eaten them in dishes that shouldn’t ever see a runner bean (macaroni cheese). But one day, when we brought back over five kilograms of runner beans there seemed like only one solution. I took two thirds of the pile, put them into plastic bags and left them on the front wall of the house with a little note:

Runner Beans
Surplus from Allotment
FREE to good home.

It was a drizzly grey day and within a couple of hours they were all gone. I peeked out of the window a few times, but didn’t see anyone take it. I’ve done this a few more times since.

So today we were pruning the front garden and a lady comes up to us and asks whether we left the runner beans and thanked us for them. She lives two doors down, we’ve never met her before and she told us that she’d taken the runner beans to her parents, who aren’t well. And she’s nice. I’ll talk to her again when I see her. The whole thing left me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Maybe that’s what those government community building projects are missing – runner beans.

I’m also glad to think that our surplus fresh food is going to people who need it. Some people believe that a gift one way will come back to you another time. And I’ll come back to that.