By Paul Waddington
I love broad beans. Not necessarily for their gastronomic virtues, of which there are many, but for the simple reason that they make me look like a vaguely competent vegetable gardener. My second year as an allotment-holder is not going well. Thanks to unforgivable neglect during the crucial May-June period when all is mad growth, I am now fighting a desperate rearguard action against weeds and pests. Eagerly awaited peas and lettuces were utterly devoured by slugs, weevils and probably mice, and other crops are engaged in an unequal struggle with bindweed. But the broad beans are standing proud and cropping copiously, because that is what broad beans do.