Finally! Fava Beans!

This must be the year to try new things in the veggie garden. My fava beans that I started in spring were ready so I picked all of them yesterday.

I had to go online to find out how to prepare them. Here is a great site that showed me how: ShellingFavas. It was fun shelling them after blanching them and they were so beautiful when shelled. After shelling, I sautéed the them in olive oil with some garlic. They were so delicious! It took a little time to prepare them but the taste is so buttery, it’s worth the effort. The only problem is that I needed to grow more because basically we got 1 harvest from them.

What have I been doing?

I’ve been busy in the garden! It is ALMOST  finished. I have 8 more tomatoes to plant tomorrow that I forgot to get that are some of my standards at the SF Farmer’s Market. OPPS! But they will be ready in time.

Two weekends ago I had 7 friends/family help with planting the majority of the tomatoes. A great big THANK YOU to all that helped-Elodie, Flynn, Ronnie, Lava, Tom, Sharon and myself! I couldn’t have done it without you! I also have a few more flower seeds to plant by the entry. Otherwise it’s done-FINITO! Yea right-there is always something to do in the garden! Here are some of the things happening in the garden:

The fava beans are looking good. Here they are flowering. I like the black and white flowers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen black and white flowers on a plant before. They had some aphids so I sprayed them with insecticidal soap and they are looking better. They have baby fava beans on them now.

The beets and carrots are coming along quite nicely. They are outside the pole bean tent area and will fill in nicely

Here are some beet greens I harvested while thinning out the beets to give them room to grow. They are yummy in a salad and are so beautiful.

In the shadiest part of the garden I planted some bok choi and lettuce and have had it covered with row cover since planting to help keep them from the heat and bugs. They both are looking great. I’ve never grown bok choi before so I’ll have to research when to harvest as they are getting to be pretty big and won’t like the heat for too long.

The fennel bulbs are getting bigger and are almost ready to harvest. Maybe another 2 weeks. They also won’t do well in the heat. I wonder if they will get as big as the ones in the grocery store..

About half of the tomatoes I previously planted are growing out of the top of the wall of waters and I need to take them off before it gets too difficult.

It’s been fun growing some early stuff. The bok choi, fava beans, fennel and lettuce are more cool season crops and will have to be harvested soon because of the heat. Probably all of them will be harvested BEFORE July.

I also have potatoes that are growing through the roof, strawberries that are being harvested and rhubarb that is ready to pick but will save that for other posts.

Growing Fava Beans

Vicia faba

Fava beans. (Vicia faba) (Photo credit: JMDN)

Here’s another new veggie I’m trying this year-Fava Beans.

Fava beans are in the legume family, not the bean family and add nitrogen nodules to the soil. Some people sow it as a cover crop in very early spring and then dig it under before planting or pull the plant and add it to their compost pile. I’m growing them to eat. They are used a lot in mid-eastern cuisine.

I tried growing Favas from seed inside earlier this spring and FAILED miserably. I like to share my failures as well as successes-how else can we all learn! Only 2 seeds germinated and maybe it was because my seed heating mats were FRYING every seed back then before I got a thermostat. Then a friend who was repairing the roof ran over one of them with his truck. I had put both of them on the side of the driveway to take down to the garden (thought they were out of the way) and his truck turned wide. So I took the one saved Fava plant and the rest of the Fava seeds down to the garden and decided to direct seed them. I love the black and white flowers they produce.

Fava beans like cool weather so I wasn’t sure it would even germinate here since we warm up fast but they did and here they are about 2-3 inches tall now.  Still not sure if I will get to harvest the beans later especially if we get hot fast but life’s an experiment and I’m one that tends to go for it.

I’m not sure about recipes for fava beans and I hear they are a pain in the a#* to shell as they have 2 shells on them which you must remove before eating. My friend Lava said they are good shelled fresh but wasn’t sure when they are dried. Anyone got any good recipes for both fresh shelled and after they are dry?