Friday, 20 May 2011

Natural supports for climbing legumes

by Francesca, FuoriBorgo

A year ago, I wrote about using bamboo canes for staking tomatoes (here). In my corner of the world, in fact, all supports and trellises, including those for climbing and vining plants, are built with natural materials that come from the immediate area. Even the strings used to tie the grape vines to their chestnut trellis are made with fibers from broom and other shrubs.


natural supports


Some of the most clever natural supports, though, are the stakes used for climbing peas and pole beans. Over here, we sow peas and beans in winter at the beginning of the year, and the plants are big enough to need support by springtime, when the fruit trees have blossomed, and are pruned before they leaf.


natural supports


These fruit tree prunings are saved - especially from the peach and apricot trees - and people use them to stake the climbing varieties of beans and peas.


natural supports


This way there's no need to build or buy trellises at all!


natural supports


It's a simple way of life where nothing is wasted, and everything is re-used - even the prunings - in the cycling of seasons that determines the rhythm of the traditional agricultural cycle.