Fava questions

I fell in love with the flavor of fava beans during trips to England and Italy, and since they are not available in markets here, I’m determined to grow my own.  Long-time readers may remember my first dismal attempt last spring when I direct seeded them into the ground.  It seemed reasonable, since we were able to plant earlier than I’d ever recalled.  However, it soon turned 90 degrees and what few favas bloomed, none set pods.

This year I was more determined, and planted two kinds of fava varieties, “Robin Hood” a dwarf from Renee Shepherd Seeds, and the old stand-by “Windsor.”

Fava compare compressed

I started them in pots in early February and planted them out in late March.  This year, I had LOTS and LOTS of blooms on both varieties, but few pods.  Of course, it rained nearly every day this spring, so pollen was washed and few insects could navigate to pollinate.  So, I was delighted to get even this meager harvest

fava harvest 2017 compressed  I wasn’t sure exactly when to pick, even after reading several pieces of advice…”pick when firm,” “pick when lumpy but not too lumpy,” “pick when pod texture is correct.”  So, since it is now in the 90’s again, and no flowers are left, I thought maybe it was time.  Plus, I need the space the favas are in for succession crops.  So, here’s my shelled beans:

fava beans shelled compressed  The greener ones are “Robin Hood” the paler ones are “Windsor.”  I probably should have kept them separate for a flavor comparison?  As you can see, some are big and some are quite immature.  I’ll know better next time.  My questions are these….some of my beans were brown inside, like this

fava brown compressed so I tossed them.  Is it too much rain?  An insect?  A disease?  And some of my pods had these raised black spots on the outside fava black compressed  Very ugly, but it doesn’t come off on my fingers, and the beans inside seemed perfectly fine.  Any thoughts?  I’m sure some of you are fava experts and can give me some answers.


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in fava beans, gardening, harvest, kitchen gardens, Potager, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fava questions

  1. Laurie Graves says:

    How was the taste?


  2. sholmes8386 says:

    Congratulations on plant to harvest!! It appears to be a difficult plant to grow. Enjoy the
    Fruits (beans) of your labor💚


  3. bcparkison says:

    Oh goodness…there are always question we can’t answer in gardening.


  4. Frank Prem says:

    Hi Carolee.

    We call them Broad Beans as well as Fava, over here (Australia). My experience of them is that they’re pretty unstoppable.

    They get to looking a bit mangy after maturity, but really the beans just get tougher.

    Eat em young is the golden rule, I think.

    Yours look alright from here.




  5. Fava beans, they look like what we call broad beans. Only the very insides taste good to me, the little vivid green bean inside the paler skin. Squeezing them gets them out.Black fly is the big problem here with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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