Friday, March 8, 2013

Fava harvesting

Favas are proving to be an earnest crop, and one that doesn't just give its harvest and then is done.
This crop started in early October, and grew all winter, even through our coldest days, and there were plenty.  In fact, we haven't seen this many frosts and cold days, ever that I can remember.
The plants are now about 5 feet tall, and are producing their first pods, some are 6 inches long, and are still quite young. So young, that they don't need to be cooked from their outer husks. A great Italian friend of the family grew up with Favas and said only the older more mature beans need that.
A blog that I read said that indeed younger beans, even the little pod (under 4 inches) could actually be treated as snap beans. Oh what joy! A plant that can provide such variety!


I opened a pod for you to see, both the beans it gave and the wonderful wooly velvet inside that by itself is remarkable. These beans will be steamed and added to tonights dinner.
The parsley and tips of the favas will also be added, as a "pesto" to the dinner. Did you know the tips could be used as a replacement for basil?

Isn't that extraordinary? Such a versatile plant! It grows through winter in So. Cal, blooms all winter, sets pods when the bees can get out and gives all different size pods for different uses all on one plant. Why haven't I known about it before? Then as it gets hotter, the pods will be bigger and the seeds will get a bit tougher, and that means they will need to be steamed and extricated from their "husk". Regardless, it is a work horse in the garden.
On top of all that, this box they are growing in will be set for the year with nitrogen!
I kinda think it almost a cover crop here.....
In any case, favas are wonderful! I am so glad our Italian friends introduced us to them.
Bon appetitto!

1 comment:

Nantucket Daffodil said...

Oh I am so glad I found this! My husband and I grew Baker Creek fava seeds last summer. We harvested, and made a puree which I think I can link to here on the garden network I am a part of
http://www.yourgardenshow.com/users/PrinceSnow/gardens/prince-snow-farm/activities/97972

It was delectable! Unfortunately, our growing season is much shorter than yours; however we are planting again this May!

Glad to have found you!