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Fava (Broad) Beans

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Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  dvelten on 3/4/2013, 10:32 pm

Does anyone have experience growing fava beans? The Fedco package says sow 3-4" apart, so that seems to translate to 9 per square. Does that seem right? The beans tend to get fairly tall, 3-4 feet, so some support is necessary. And they don't like heat, so they go in the ground with the peas as soon as the beds can be worked. The variety I have is Windsor, which is shorter than some other varieties, only about 3' tall.

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Turan on 3/4/2013, 10:46 pm

Windsor is a big plant. My seed packet says 6" spacing. I have planted them 2-4 per square and I do not think they would do well tighter than that. I did not support them and some did flop a bit but they are pretty sturdy plants. I also planted them with corn one year. That was ok but I like growing them separate better I think. They handle cool weather pretty well, like peas or broccoli.

They sure are tasty but the pealing the inner membrane gets tedious.

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  dvelten on 3/4/2013, 10:56 pm

Turan, thanks, that's what I was looking for. Counting the seeds in the packet, I wouldn't have enough seeds for more than a 4/square planting anyway. I'm dedicating 8 squares to these things, hope I like them.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/4/2013, 11:05 pm

Fava beans, 4 to a square (2x8 box, that is a fold up tomato cage supporting the stalks.)



Same beans, I'm sure they are Windsor.

You only need to watch some of the video to get an idea how to process the beans. Early in the video, they come out of the pod, parboil, and are finally pinched out of the skin before making the salad.... just in case you are not clear how it is done.

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  plantoid on 3/5/2013, 7:06 am

They are excellent for blanching and freezing for use over winter as well Deb's.
If you pick early in the morning after a good watering the evening before they will tend to taste like fresh beans .
We love them plain boiled if fresh or with a bit of white sauce over them .....expecially the frozen ones once cooked .
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/5/2013, 8:11 am

@plantoid wrote:They are excellent for blanching and freezing for use over winter as well .....
Yes they are!
The craziest thing I did with my frozen fava's was chili.

Usually, I make a whole crock-pot full of beans and freeze what I don't use in 2 cup containers. That way I do not get stuck buying or using canned beans. I was sure I had beans in the freezer when I made chili after school, but there were none to be found, so I used some of the precious fava beans I had frozen in September. AWESOME. The nutty flavor of fava beans were perfect with the chili. The only problem was that the guys were used to seeing brown, red or black beans in their chili. The beautiful green of the favas frightened them just a little. They could not look at it. Lucky for me, there was a big NASCAR race that Sunday.

Debs.... who is guilty of tucking "good for you" veggies into places they probably shouldn't have gone...the guys still seem traumatized.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  dvelten on 3/5/2013, 8:18 am

The photos and video were very helpful, thanks Debs. This gives me an idea what I will be dealing with. Maybe I will try the tomato cage idea for support. And those are Windsor, the shorter variety? Shocked

Plantoid and Debs, good to know about freezing. If I get a lot of these, I will plan to .freeze them.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/5/2013, 8:59 am

@dvelten wrote:....snip.... And those are Windsor, the shorter variety? Shocked ...
I went back and checked my log. This was the first year I grew fava's and there are two kinds in two squares. I wondered at the time how much protein I could grow in the burbs besides eggs.

In the 2nd pic you can see that there are two levels of plant tops.

These are the black seeds that made the shorter plants. The fresh bean is green. They produce slightly smaller pods than Windsor, so the beans are also slightly smaller but they taste exactly the same, sweet and nutty. TSC no longer offers this seed. It takes nearly the same amount of space in the garden and requires the same amount of work to eat. I would not buy these again, pretty as they are. All that work produces a smaller yield.

This seed is labeled Broad Windsor. The plants were not much more than 8 inches taller then the black seed but the pods were much larger. Winter sown Favas got slightly taller then spring sown and could be harvested about a month earlier.

The fold up tomato cage had to be tied to the fence but otherwise it worked well.
Debs...who has been told by those who know, that this is the bean that Jack climbed, so tall must be good.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  dvelten on 3/5/2013, 5:47 pm

Broad Windsor is what I have, so it will be interesting to see how tall it gets. Johnny's and Fedco don't list a height, but PineTree says 2-3 feet. Debs, your plantss sure look taller than 3 feet. Maybe it's your weather or some really good MM. The spacing they quote is also interesting. Johnny's says 4-6 inches, Fedco says 3-4 inches, and PineTree says 9 per square. I may try some at 4 and some at 9 per square to see how it goes.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2013, 2:37 pm

@dvelten wrote:I may try some at 4 and some at 9 per square to see how it goes.

dvelten, are these fava beans? they look similar to what i've seen here but different:

Did you plant your fava beans yet? Or when?

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  plantoid on 3/23/2013, 4:36 pm

Something I omitted in previous posts was that I used four feet of stock wire 3 feet tall in six x 4 inch high grids to surround a square that had six broad beans in it . As they grew the wire helped support them and as there were six plants it became self supporting so alleviating any worries about them keeling over if it got windy.

My bean seeds were the yellow leather coloured seeds , in my MM they went from being supposedly dwarf beans in to nearly four feet tall specimens . Not sure if it was the quality of my MM , the watering regime, cooler weather of a combination of all three.

After harvesting the last few set aside for seed pods & stripping them out of the partially dried pods I vac packed them when fully dried after a couple of weeks near the base of the furnace .
On Friday 22 March 2013 I put some of them in my bottomless seed pots on the seed propagation bench and flooded the bottom of the pot holder tray with 1/2 inch of water to give them a really wet pot for the kick start germination of the seeds .
It will dry out over the next three days to a more reasonable moisture level , the seed skins will have started to soften and the seed growth nodes will have become awake by then.


Not all the seeds were as brown as the original beans , some had picked up a purple (ish ) tinge colour .
I haven't a clue as to what will show up but do look foreward to eating any worthwhile results.
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2013, 4:48 pm

So Plantiod, are you saying that you are soaking the beans for 3 days before planting?

CC
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  plantoid on 3/23/2013, 4:58 pm

No .... but the extra wet MM does give a lot of moisture to the seeds at the right time for the first few days .

I've not discoverd any references to actually soaking in water so it may be that it's not a good idea due to toxin build up or bacteria growth in the water
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Icemaiden on 3/23/2013, 5:24 pm

You can soak them for chitting but you need to change the water each day. Or you could just soak them for an hour or so before planting, just to give them a head start.
I sow mine indoors in peat pots or tubes of potting compost and plant them out when they are about six inches high, but that is because summer is very late here.

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  dvelten on 3/23/2013, 7:20 pm

CC, the beans in your photo look approximately like the Windsor variety I have. Mine are all shoe leather brown, no green-gray ones but a few are a little yellowish. I plan to plant them with the peas, whenever that happens. We got a foot of new snow last week and they are talking about more on Monday. The fava beans like cold weather so if you are planting peas, even after your recent snow, then it is time to put in the fava beans.

Lavebder Deb's photos show tall plants and the catalogs say Windsor grows to 4 feet. I'm considering how I will support them. I might use folding tomato cages but would use them unfolded. Right now I plan to have a 2x4 square bed to support. Hope I get lots of beans. And sure hope I like them, first time I have tried them. Smile
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2013, 7:56 pm

OK, I'll put them in to soak overnight and then plant them out tomorrow.
Thanks, folks!

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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  bernie on 4/8/2013, 8:10 am

I soak mine until fully bloated (changing the water every 12 hours),it took 36 hours in this instance.



Then grow on in cardboard tubes in mushroom punnets.



Those are Aquadulce Claudia & will be planted today at 4 to the square as they should grow to quite large plants Very Happy
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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  NightMist on 4/8/2013, 10:41 am

This is my first year growing fava, I have Ianto's Favourite.

So far I have discovered that this variety is about six feet tall, and I have been wondering if I can plant it with other veg, as is my wont with beans, or if I am going to have to give it dedicated space.

By the pictures here I imagine that if they do well they will be really big, so I think I may plant them behind my junior blueberry bushes and see how that goes. Plenty of space there at the moment as the bushes have been held back by the unnaturally hot weather of the last year or so, and good sun for the same reason.
What do you reckon? A good notion or rather foolish?

An amusing thing I ran across when I was looking growing fava beans up, a declaration in a forum that you don't have to peel them and that if you do you miss out on a lot of flavour. I can only imagine that the person making that claim has excellent digestive processes and outstanding oral hygiene!



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Re: Fava (Broad) Beans

Post  Yardslave on 5/31/2013, 1:48 pm

I have grown Fava beans for 3 years. The type (Windsor) Grow between 3-4 ft. and have green seeds similar to Lima beans in color, but occasionally a "red" bean will show up- That's the residual of a strain popular in Egypt. I have found them to grow best at 6" intervals, but they will do OK at 4" intervals.The shoots are edible, just like pea shoots, only a little stronger. I stopped planting them because the are a perfect vector for aphids. They seem to attract aphids that propagate and spread fast if you don't keep an eye on them. I used them as a cover crop in my orchard and it was a mistake I will not repeat as my apples, plums, and pluots were covered with thick colonies of aphids. Some people of Mediterranean descent are sensitive to Favas Look Here. I have a friend that can eat them, but his hands break out when he shells them. If it weren't for the pests, I'd keep planting them. They are as easy to grow as radishes. You don't have to soak them if you can keep the beds soaked until they germinate.
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