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Fava Beans - more than just beans

 
gardener & author
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I'm interested in growing a lot more of these as an overwintered 'hungry gap' fresh food crop. I am in USDA zone 9 and the large-seeded ones grow well here through the winter without any irrigation.

I had no idea there were issues with eating them raw. I have always eaten the fresh shelled beans raw, and yesterday I tried a whole small pod, to see if that would be an easy source of food if I grew a lot of them next year.

Does anyone know if the very young fresh pods can be a problem for all people (eg phytates or other anti-nutrients), or is it only those who are allergic?

We like fresh raw green beans a lot and thought the tiny pods of these could be an alternative.
 
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I grew Fava the first time.  Planted them out as seeds 9/15, to begin I had about 13 plants pop up, with pretty high germination, then some brown fungus attacked most of them and killed them.  So have roughly 6 now, a few inches high, sailing through 26°F first freeze.
 
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I usually plant them in February, Agua Dulce. Every year I have problem with black aphids in March or April. I control them with garlic "soup" at regular intervals.
I never dry Fava Beans, but keep them in freezer
 
pollinator
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Experiment. I read somewhere (in this thread) it was possible to plant the beans in autumn. So I did. I planted broad beans (the regional type, 'tuinbonen' in Dutch) end October.
This morning I noticed some of them growing between the leaf mulch, in the small 'Hugelkultur 2'!
 
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Tomorrow is fava bean planting day for me. The snow melted yesterday. Therefore, it's time to get favas in the ground. Favas may bloom like crazy in hot weather, but they don't set fruits. They grow great in cool weather, and don't mind the spring frosts, so the quicker they get started, the more likely they are to flower and set seeds during cool weather.

 
author & pollinator
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I was very happy to find this thread because this is my first year growing favas. Every summer, we typically experience several weeks or months of hot (upper 90s) dry spells, which means the garden often goes into survival mode. I've been trying to expand winter gardening to increase food production. (Although our winters can be iffy as well, either mild or miserable).



So far so good, even with a couple of nights down into the upper 20s.

I'm gleaning of good information here; much appreciated.
 
pollinator
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Planted some more fava beans from my fava bean grex today. It's open burning season here- no permit needed. My well isn't flooded this spring, so my hose works. So I burned the accumulated brush piles. Then in the ashes, and charcoal, and mud from the hose I started poking in fava seeds. My grex is descended from Ianto's Return, Frog Island Nation, Windsor, Early Windsor, and Lofthouse. Though this year I am adding in an Andean mix, brown speckled, and a fingerprint fava.

I actually started planting them on February 20th. Stuck them into all the old sawdust and bark pile bases then. Then I planted the new ones, plus some that volunteered last year in the fenced garden and around the base of a double dug bed.

Lots of diversity in the grex. Little bitty ones to great big ones, most seem to be tan, purple, or intermediate. The smallest sizes, which I am fond of, came from the Lofthouse landrace favas.
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Burning brush pile
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Charcoal and ash and mud
 
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Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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What's your favarite recipe?
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Burl Smith wrote:What's your favarite recipe?



None yet. Haven't tried eating them yet. I have difficulty with trying new foods. So it's a nitrogen crop at present for me.
 
Burl Smith
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Ahh so; I plan to use cowpeas for that purpose but do recall reading somewhere (probably here) that favas are cold tolerant.
 
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Favas are cold tolerant.  They love a cool moist start to the year.  Some places can overwinter favas and they come ready to harvest in early summer.  Basically like Barley.

Cowpeas require rainfall in the summer months and warmth.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Fava cold tolerance seems to be plenty for planting as soon as the snow melts in the rockies. They don't survive the winter for me though. In fact though planting as soon as the snow melts is a trick I picked up from Joseph Lofthouse which has enabled my fava success. Prior to learning to plant early they never did much for me.
 
Leigh Tate
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This is my first year to grow favas, so they're an experiment for me. It's been a mild winter (for us), so they've had to put up with several nighttime lows in the 20s and snow. Some of the plants haven't made it, but some have!



It usually turns hot for us in April (80s) so if fall plantings don't work out, I'd have to try late winter or very early spriing.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Got more favas planted today. Pretty much out of fava seed. The four grocery bags I had it in are empty now.
 
William Schlegel
pollinator
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Well, one sprouted.
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First fava sprout
 
Leigh Tate
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UPDATE: About a third of what I planted last fall survived, but they're blooming!



 
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