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.”
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
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:
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
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 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.