In The Fava Patch

Fava leaves have become my fall salad staple, They hold up almost as well as kale in cold weather! I planned for an ambitious whole garden kind of fava patch this year but in reality I only got about half way there. I purchased three kilos of fava seeds for the job, ended up getting about a kilo and a half in the ground. My original though was; I don’t have much else going on in the garden for fall might as well fill it up with something, I will be clipping and eating the fava bean plants long before I need to do anything out there for spring, just trying to make use of otherwise idle cold weather garden space. Unlike other fall and winter food plants, growing favas for leaves and greens is a project you can start relatively late in the season, my last planting went in around the middle of October, although it says on the package they can be planted into November, I have never had any luck getting favas to sprout once we get frost(usually around the end of October for me), if my fava are already sprouted and growing they have held up really well to hard frost and mild snow. I still have plenty of fava leaf salads left to eat in the garden but this unseasonably warm December is making me wishing I had spent more time to planting more favas. I mostly spaced my fava patch one inch a part in all directions but the ones I am keep on till next spring, to attempt to save seeds, have been thinned back to about six inches apart. With the help of my five year old son I have also discovered you don’t even need one inch spacing, dumping a hand full of fava seeds in a hole will produce clusters of easy to harvest “fava bouquets”, maybe next year I will forgo the effort of any kind of accurate spacing, just give the ground a rake and scatter fava seeds everywhere? It would save so much of what precious little time I have to work out in the garden, especially in the fall when working in the garden has to coincide not only with my schedule but in between mother nature’s unpredictable schedule of freezing rain and gale force wind!

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