Fava Beans or Broad Beans, I think the names are pretty interchangeable, are a super easy to grow winter Bean that you can make many delicious dishes with. Growing – As mentioned these beans are a winter crop. I’ve heard though never tried, they are a great companion plant to grow with potatoes. They are leguminous which means that unlike other
plants they take nitrogen out of the atmosphere and place it into its root zone(rhizosphere) where a friendly bacteria living there distributes it into the soil and makes it available to other plants.
Take the bean and plant it directly into the bed a couple of cm’s under the
soil. I love plants that you can directly sow like this and skip the time consuming seedling stage. In fact the owner of a Permaculture project I
was on in Spain at the start of the year would skip the direct sowing
stage all together. He would harvest the pods he wanted from each plant
except for a few of the larger pods(contrary to what many may think
leaving the larger/healthier fruits of any tree and propagating
the seeds means the strongest genetics will continue into the future)
which he would leave. They would dry on the plant and drop to the ground and propagate themselves. He had broad beans popping up all over his property the first month of winter.
One word of advice the aphids do love them in the Newcastle area. Plant them in good healthy soil/compost to start there life and give them regular water to give them the best chance. Fortunately the aphids don’t seem to penetrate the pods so the beans inside are still good to eat most of the
Preparation – You can do many different things with them, you can
probably even make gluten free brownies, actually I’m sure you can
as I’ve made them before but with black beans and I don’t think there is too
much difference between the two. Anyways anything you’de use a pea or bean for you can probably use a Fava bean. The bean can be eaten raw picked straight off the plant and popped out of the pod. In Europe
they harvest the pods when they are young and make soups and other
dishes using the whole pod. I love hummus and that’s probably what ill
be making most of mine into. I did my first one this week and it was super easy and delicious. Here’s how I went about it.
- Harvest the pods, pop the beans out into a pot.
- Boil them for 10 mins.
- Strain the water and add – Olive oil, garlic, lemon, mint, parsley, oregano(the last three are optional and interchangeable), avocado, tahini, chilli if you like some spice, and if you have one of our fire ciders add a splash for more spice and probiotic goodness, salt and pepper to taste.
I’ll be saving my seeds this year and maybe even go the el natural Espanol approach so I can be making Hummus next winter. How did you go? Send me your feedback….Dean