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Hello Broad Beans

July 11th, 2013

This is the first year I have ever grown broad beans (aka fava beans). Back in Ohio, our summers got too warm too fast to grow these beauties, or so I’ve been told. I never even tried to grow them because I simply didn’t have enough space.
broad beans 1
This spring I planted two varieties of favas and I just harvested the ‘Windsor’ beans earlier this week.
broad beans 2
Favas are a lot of work, you have to shell them out of the this furry pods and then you have to blanch them and pop them out of yet another thick skin that covers the bean.
broad beans 3
Will I be growing favas again next year? I think so, a small row produces enough for a few meals and that’s good for me. One of the reasons I garden is to be able to make my plate as varied as possible. Broad beans can be hard to come by at the grocery store and the farmers market.

Have you ever grown or eaten fava or broad beans?

9 Comments to “Hello Broad Beans”
  1. Mich on July 11, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Love broad beans. Tho I must say I never blanch them and remove the skin but I do pick them when they are young.

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  2. Marina C on July 11, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Me too, I love them, and I grow just a few meals worth as well.
    In Italy, they serve them with a fresh young sheep cheese cut in small cubes with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped basil, delicious, and I love them as a green accent in a Thai coconut milk curry.

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  3. Joan on July 11, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I bought them at the farmers market once, but never could figure out the whole shelling process. So, I’ve never grown them. Maybe I should try them again.

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  4. Adriana on July 11, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I haven’t tried fava beans yet. I grew lima beans once a few years ago, but had a hard time knowing when they were ready to harvest and they were hard to shell. Edamame soybeans are a staple in the garden here as well as a variety of dry and green beans. It’s hard to find room for it all.

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  5. S on July 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I like growing favas, if only because they are such an interesting plant–the blossoms are lovely–and they are reportedly great for your soil. One thing I learned last year is you can just grill them (unshelled, tossed with a little olive oil) and peel & eat sort of like edamame. If they are young and tender you can even eat them pod and all. It’s tasty and a lot easier than peeling! :)

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  6. val on July 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Love favas! I live in Virginia, so they are a winter crop for me. I think they are so worth the shelling. I like to toss them with Italian parsley, parmesan, and toasted almonds, and a little lemon.
    How did the “violetto” favas do for you? I was disappointed to see no purple anywhere, and I found the yield slightly less than others I have tried, but I never get a huge crop because of timing/weather issues.

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  7. jennidy on July 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I’ve grown Windsor favas several years in a row, and I enjoy them. Sometimes we eat them young and whole, other times we go through the shelling and blanching process. You can also eat the young leaves. They’re a spring crop for me here, and typically the first of the non-winter veggies to come in in my garden.

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  8. Lemongrass on July 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Three years ago I planted some favas during the late summer in SC. They did better that i expected and I harvested by the end of winter into spring when they were very young. Had some right off the plant, shell and all. The others I shelled and added them raw to a pasta salad. I would like to grow them here in the Caribbean. When they are harvested young they require much less work to get them to the table. Favas are a must for me.

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  9. andrea on July 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Another fava lover here. I have just been talking about the point that as soon as favas are mentioned, everyone brings up the work involved in preparing them. I just don’t see how they are so difficult. The pods are so big and furry that they are simple to shell and after a quick blanche, the inner layer comes off with a little squeeze. Actually pretty fun kitchen work if you ask me. I hate to imagine how many people get put off trying favas for just this reason. To me, they are now a garden must. For the soil and for the flavor. Cooked favas mashed with olive oil, lemon, and mint, spread on a grilled slice of baguette is summer heaven! I highly encourage everyone to give them a try.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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