Life of a Fava Bean

Last fall I planted a “large” part of the garden with favas destined not to be consumed but to save for seed. I have never attempted to save bean seed before but unintentionally I think I have done it right. I got entirely swamped with work this summer and have done literally nothing out in the garden until yesterday, anything that happened to be there was either planted in the spring(or earlier) or grew itself. The fava patch was quite spectacular standing over four feet tall at its highest point, my son being just exactly 48”s enjoyed hiding amongst the stalks like a mini corn maze. As the summer flew by, one day I looked out the window and realized my seed saving plan was unwittingly unfolding, the pods were drying up on the stalks ready for storage. I have to digress because it was also around this time that something very strange happened it was unreasonably early one morning, still in my pajamas clicking away feverously at my lap top, doing what I do for a living, when there was a knock on the door, it was a lady asking for a bag so she could collect my fava beans! From my garden! I don’t know why people assume because you grow your own that you are some kind of food bank? Honestly I am happy to give away the excess hoards of fresh perennial herbs and salad greens but it always seems the beggars are the choosers, cleaning out the front yard berries, baby zucchinis and onions when my watchful eye is not there to protect them. The early morning door knocker was just a bit too much for me, she trampled my chives, oregano and sage, despite the fact my yard is fully fenced and gated. The whole incident really troubled me. I have yet to come up with a solution for the rogue urban home stead grazers, except that I had considered growing more hard to recognize foods in the front yard? But that’s all beside the point for now, even after said individual left the garden gate wide open as she left with as many fava beans as she could carry, I still have more than enough seed beans. I can’t imagine trying to grow or save enough favas to last all winter, it took me over 3 hours to harvest and shell just 2 kilos of dried fava beans. I originally felt wrong about paying 12$ per kilo at WCS for favas but considering all that saved work it’s not that bad? Oh well, it was super enjoyable to get out in the sun and pick beans! My approximate yield was about 10 to 15 pods per plant and it took about 60 pods to yield one cup of shelled beans for cooking, which I haven’t tried yet but I am looking forward to. Now for the really big question are they going to grow this fall? Just have to wait and see on that one.

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