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?