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Fava Winter Test

October 31, 2012

Fava beans (aka broad, field, horse, or windsor beans) are supposed to be a great winter crop in my zone, hardy enough (to 15 degrees) to be planted in the fall in order to grow out during the winter. And seeing as how my infatuation with winter gardening remains strong, I decided these would be a good one to try for my zone 7 plot.

If successful, I’ll have a tasty high protein harvest sometime next year (February? March?). Even if these don’t yield a single bean, there is still a substantial benefit to the soil.

Actually a vetch ( more precisely a “vicia”) , favas are legumes and can fix a substantial amount of nitrogen into the soil of otherwise unused beds. They are often used as cover crops by commercial growers and in wildlife food plots.

I’m struck by how stout the stalks are; the plants are fairly sturdy so far and held up well against the relative gales we have been experiencing over the last few days. I was also surprised to see that I have flowers on some plants already given that it is only Oct 31 and this is a “winter” crop.

Regardless, this is what a bed of favas looks like in North Georgia in late October, just in case anyone was wondering:

By the way, when I ordered the seeds, I had no idea that you have to effectively shell them twice. My top bean sheller doesn’t know this yet; I think I’ll wait until the 5 gallon bucket of “Christmas” limas is completely shelled before I mention it….

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mrs. Cohutt permalink
    October 31, 2012 7:17 pm

    Oh, I know. I know.

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