EDAMAME BEAN (SOYA) ELENA ~ a very good choice for the UK climate, Edamame’ means ‘beans on a branch’ and once the leaves have fed the pods during the summer, they fall and leave them at the top of the stems ready for picking 40 seeds SOW: sow from late April/early May indoors in pots (seeds 2.5cm deep) and onwards to late June outside if preferred. They can take 3 weeks to germinate so patience is required & the seeds will not thrive if overwatered. Since all the pods on a plant are ready to pick at once, make successive sowings - every 2/3 of weeks – to give you a longer harvest period. GROW: they like full sun and are not fussy about your soil type. Plant out when large enough to do so and when they are 15cm or so tall mulch around them, water in dry periods. They like a liquid feed when they begin to flower. Elena grows to about 60cm tall & needs about 75 days before harvesting (longer in cooler areas or cooler summers). You will see the leaves start to fall then watch carefully as you need to pick the pods when they are plump and still green (not yellow). Refrigerate, freeze, cook, or blanch the pods as soon as possible after picking to maintain flavour and nutrients. EAT: You must cook these beans before eating, and then you can eat them hot as an accompaniment to a main dish, chill them and add to a salad or on their own as a healthy snack. As a snack the pods can be simmered (lightly salt the water if you wish) until tender and the beans popped out of the pod to be eaten. They can be shelled and added to stir fries or cooked with meat or other vegetables. They work well with other beans in a chilli.