Independence. The good life. Growing our own food. What could be better? This is the dream, our perfect retirement in the style of Brexit, showing those doubters that The Sticks can stand on its own two feet when it comes to feeding itself. Who needs CAP and subsidies? Who needs imported food? We can manage without olive oil and bananas, orange juice or coffee. We've grown our own beans.
Everyone knows British people (or should that be English people? I've not got the hang of being English yet, I still find myself self identifying as a British European. Make note to try harder) are good at gardening and that we can all grow beans and tomatoes, even if we only have a shoe-box size window box.
So we dug our garden and planted our beans; a dozen each of French, broad and runner beans, with carefully arranged bean poles. We watched them grow. We watered them everyday through the heatwave and draught. They flowered, the bees were kept busy day in day out, the fruits set and the beans grew long and fat. It hardly seemed any time at all before we started to harvest them. How easy was that? Not an aphid in sight.
Fresh, tasty homegrown beans with added smugness for every meal.
We've been eating our beans for several weeks now. Cooked as a main dish, as a side dish, raw in salads. The internet has been trawled for interesting bean recipes but even the Guardian's fancy chefs can't provide us with enough new ideas that don't include fancy imported things we can't even pronounce. Maybe we should have frozen some, but there never seemed to be enough to bother (except for the French beans - they are prolific, maybe we should rename them as English beans, somehow seems wrong the French have done better).
My husband is getting annoyed. He doesn't want any more beans and he objects to meals which are beans with beans. He doesn't seem to taste the added smugness or enjoy the independence and freedom they represent. He says his options have been limited, and why does he keep mentioning winter? He says we'll run short of food if we only rely on what we can grow.
Doesn't he get it? We've already decided to stop buying food from the supermarket and nothing has changed. We are surviving on our home grown produce NOW. The last three weeks has proved we'll be fine on our own.