This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, June 30, 2008

fava beans are almost ripe

favas

I will be picking these soon. They are looking about ready to me. They should grow to 5-8 inches and have full green pods. My sister recommends popping them out of the shell and sauteeing them in butter and olive oil. I also have a grill recipe to try.

Vicia faba
Fabaceae

12 Comments:

Blogger Mary said...

very nice! every time i hear the phrase "fava bean" i can't help think of sir anthony hopkins as hannibal lecter.
creepy. i know.

June 30, 2008 5:47 PM

 
Anonymous Marie said...

do you think it's too late to plant favas from seed in MA? I have a nice plot where I tore up all the bolted lettuce there after saving the seed. (I forget which lettuce I put there, but the bolts were long stalks with pretty yellow flowers, and the seed all went to these nice greenbean-like pod. I figure, what's the harm in trying to dry them out and save them?)

I have some giant variety fava seed from seedman.com which didn't come up when I first planted it, in a less fertile location new for me this year. That soil apparently doesn't like beans.

What can be grown from seed from July 1?
Willing to experiment!

June 30, 2008 6:46 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

I think its too hot to plant fava beans. They are like peas and need cool weather. Like you said though, you can always experiment and see how it works for yourself.

To try favas (85 days) or peas (75 days) as a fall crop, it would be best to plant about 3 mo before the last frost. My guess is that would be around July 1-15. I tried to do this last year, but planted too late (Sept).

If your soil doesn't seem to do well with beans, try using a soil inoculant. I use this with any type of bean or pea. Johnny's has different inoculants for favas, soy and green beans/peas.

I am planting summer crops now: all types of beans (except fava) and summer crisp (Batavian) lettuce.

It's great timing for fall crops. I haven't gotten my plan together yet. I think I'll start beets, carrots and broccoli mid-July. My fall peas will go in Aug 1. The fall lettuce varieties Aug 1-20.

Heirloom Seeds has a nice schedule of fall planting dates for different zones depending on you average first frost date.

That's great that you saved lettuce seed. You could try to plant that this fall!

June 30, 2008 9:51 PM

 
Blogger Dan said...

I have never tried a fava bean before, maybe I will try these for a fall crop. They are a very showy vegetable, you could almost plant them with perennials.

Amazing bee photo's by the way, I don't think I could get that close without wanting to run! haha

July 01, 2008 10:15 PM

 
Anonymous Marie said...

kathy, thanks for the tips! I am just trying to clear the old lettuce area properly now. In this I found a great use for all those rubbermaid bin tops that have been put to the side while we use the bins for recycling. They also collect rainwater to divert to the plants I'm still growing.

Another neat surprise - one of my tomato plants has developed a "super bloom" flower that I have only read about before. I guess it's supposed to be a fusion of several blooms that can eventually give you a single giant, lobed tomato. I hope it sets fruit!

Kathy, btw, do you ever enter any of your veggies in the Topsfield Fair? Having seen some of the entries over the years, I'm thinking of considering it sometime.

July 02, 2008 10:52 AM

 
Blogger Black Eyed Susan said...

Your photos are so amazing. I love your garden!

July 02, 2008 8:59 PM

 
Anonymous Gururaj Rao said...

I planted fava beans (I call them horse beans) for the first time and had a tough time with small green insects that ate up tender leaves and flowers. Didn't you have any problems with pests in summer or do you use some kind of insecticide? Your plant looks free of insects - see mine here: http://japanesegarden.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/cimg0236.jpg.

July 02, 2008 9:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog! I've started gardening for the first time ever. I rented a community plot, planted a few things, and visit it often to weed and water. I have an upside down tomato garden on my back porch and lots of potted herbs. So far, I've enjoyed some lettuce and two tiny strawberries. Everything else is still growing and looking green. I hope one day to have a much more robust garden like Skippy's, but for now, it's just been fun. Thank you for faithfully updating your garden stories. It's been so helpful for this novice. Thanks!

July 03, 2008 11:58 AM

 
Blogger Matt said...

Wow! Very impressive gardens. You're giving me ideas for next year. Excellent photos as well! Take care.

July 03, 2008 2:45 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

I'm happy I can share garden ideas.

Gururaj Rao asked about garden pests. I have plenty, but am lucky that none have caused much trouble yet this year. I have have some damage from flea beetles on potatoes and squash bugs on my pumpkin. Thats about it so far.

I don't like to use any sprays, and tend to just give up on the crop if the bugs get it. Last year I lost my fava beans to black aphids before any beans formed. I think they were not in a good location and were not healthy enough so the bugs did a lot of damage.

It seems to me that sprays can kill the bug you go after, but then another pest will in and be a problem. Best to do what you can to keep the plants healthy and if you can;t, maybe its not the best crop for your garden.

My dad calls the favas "tuinbonen" (garden beans). Matron calls then broad beans. Horse beans is yet another.

Thanks for the comments!

July 04, 2008 4:58 PM

 
Anonymous Liz said...

Your beans look great. The only thing enjoying them in my garden this year are the black fly!

July 06, 2008 4:43 PM

 
Anonymous Laura said...

Hi Kathy, we love the photos and stories of your garden. We are urban farmers in Seattle, getting ready to move to MA this fall. I'm glad to see that great gardening is possible out there. You will have ripe tomatos before we do here! (But, here we _can_ grow brocc, greens and other stuff outside all winter....)

July 08, 2008 12:34 AM

 

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