"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harvesting Fava Beans

We harvested a few rows of fava beans and are quite happy with how well they filled out this season. For the most part we use these as dried beans in soups, bean dishes, and their subtle flavor makes them great for re-fried beans. After shelling they are placed on racks in the sun to dry, once dried they are stored away in glass gallon jars until needed. Of course a bucket of the nicest looking pods are always shelled separately for next year's seed. Because of their extremely cold hardy nature they are our absolute favorite bean to grow and the remaining debris are an excellent amendment for the soil in our gardens.

28 comments:

meemsnyc said...

WOW!! What a harvest! How many plants produced all that?

It's me ...Mavis said...

Cool Beans!

How many gallons do you think you'll harvest? As usual... I think you two are a bunch of gardening rock stars!

Heiko said...

I'm amazed as to how late yours are! Ours were eaten mostly fresh in April and May and we'be made a serious dent into our stores of dried broad beans and the ones preserved in brine. If I planted all my 18 terraces with broad beans I would still never have enough to last me for the year, I love the stuff so much. Try this recipe: http://memoriediangelina.blogspot.com/2010/07/fave-e-cicoria.html

Anonymous said...

A recipe to try. Here in Australia you can buy in the shops roasted fava beans, flavoured with garlic/herbs. I've done this with chick peas and they're fantastic, going to try the broad beans this year as I planted some extras to try it out! Great for snacking on.

Susieq.

miss m said...

Wow, excellent harvest ! Must include fava beans in next year's lineup.

Mr. H. said...

meemsnyc - We planted two 50' and one 35' row of fava beans. I really don't know how many plants that is. You will have to try growing a few sometime and see what you think of them. I would say that each plant would provide a meal of beans for 1 person.

Mavis - I am hoping that once all the beans have bean dried we will end up with 6-7 gallons. They are a nice bean for our areas thriving in cold rainy weather and when the sun finally arrives in late July they like that too.:)

Heiko - I like the recipe, what could be better than fava beans and chicory.:) I'm glad to hear they are also a favorite of yours. I don't know of many people that grow them in my area...not sure why. By the way, my Heiko grape tomatoes are starting to ripen up.:)

Susieq - Roasted fava beans flavored with garlic and herbs sounds wonderful and something that I will have to try. I hope your beans do really well this year.

Mr. H. said...

Miss M - I hope you do and think you will like them. There are a million recipes for them as well...a very versatile bean.

EcoLife said...

I've never grown dried beans before. Do you dry the whole pod and then thresh and continue to dry or just shell them slightly green and dry all the beans on a screen? Just curious because this is my first year growing dried beans.

I will have to give fava beans a try next year they look lovely!

Elizabeth said...

That's amazing. I love how you dry them in the sun!!
My daughter LOVES beans. She would love your garden so much.
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

johnnydesoto said...

My favas were plum pitiful. We had a heat wave in April when they blooming so many did not set. Some plants had no pods whatsoever. Guess it may be too hot to grow favas here. Yours look awesome.

WeekendFarmer said...

yay...that is a great harvest!

Have you considered Falafel? You can make them with dried fava beans.

Stefaneener said...

I plan to plant favas this year. Even if I don't eat them, they're helpful for the soil

vrtlarica said...

This is a fantastic harvest! I have never grown fava beans, but as I read about them more and more, maybe I will change my mind and try them soon.
Next to growing vegetables, my favorite thing is preserving them in all different ways. And there are only a few veggies that you can preserve this easily and simply.

Mr. H. said...

EcoLife - For most beans I like to let them dry in the pod then thresh them out and allow to dry a bit more. Because of their thick pods Fava beans are much easier for us to shell slightly green and then dry, I will sometimes do the same thing with our runner beans.

Elizabeth - We do try to use the sun for drying as many things as possible. The only thing we use an electric dryer for is tomatoes and apples as they are usually harvested so late in the season and it is often too cool for outside drying. I hope to get away from that in the future and use the greenhouse for drying our late crops.

Johnny - Too bad about your beans, they do tend to prefer the colder weather. I have heard about people planting them in the fall for an early spring crop but it has always seemed a bit to "iffy" for me to try...I think they would rot.

WeekendFarmer - I looked up falafel and it does sound quite delicious. We try to stay away from deep fried foods but might have to make an exception for this recipe.:)

Stefaneener - They really are great for the soil. The nitrogen modules on the roots get huge on some of our plants. If you double click my second picture you can actually see the modules showing on some of the roots.

Vrtlarica - Me too:) I think that perhaps my favorite part of gardening is preserving the harvest. I hope you do get a chance to try growing the fava beans as they would probably do really well in your climate.

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

Great harvest of Fava beans. Because of you I tried them this yr and really liked them. They are one of the simplest beans to grow. Not only do they produce really well, but they are so easy to harvest. Question: did you pull the plants as you went along? I found that the plants easily bent if I wasn't careful when picking, oh and I loved how they grew pointing up instead of down. I'm wondering why I didn't put in a fall crop....maybe it's not too late.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

golly i can't believe nobody make a joke about eating liver with fava beans and a nice chianti... so i guess i'll do it.
;-)

thyme2garden said...

Those are some good sized beans you got there! I love the picture of them all shelled in such a large quantity. Re-fried fava beans? I would have never thought of it, but it sounds rather tasty!

Mr. H. said...

Diane - We did pull up the plants, sometimes though we will snip them back to about a foot tall and a new, lesser crop will grow. I wanted to do a second crop but as all my crops are ripening late this year I decided that I did not have quite enough time to achieve a second crop...you might though.:)

Also, yes they do tend to start falling over once loaded with beans so we run lines of rope down each row and make a sort of grid to help keep them stable.

You will have to try making re-fried beans out of them sometime...we just love it.

Ohiofarmgirl - Yes I even forget that one sometimes.:)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti". - Hannibal Lecter

Thyme2garden - They really do taste great re-fried as they have such a mild flavor. We like to add a bit of olive oil, garlic, and a tad of salt...really good.:)

E said...

What a beautiful harvest!

Chris Brock (under the mulberry tree) said...

What i lovely harvest. I wish i could eat fava beans but they make me vomit - i have a condition known as favism. Oh well - you can't win them all. Luckily i have a lot of other choices of beans that are good for drying.

Faith Kolean said...

Mr. H., Those are wonderful fava beans. It is truly impressive how many are pictured. Those are envious.

Mr. H. said...

Thanks E!

Chris Brock - I've read about favism in people of Mediteranean decent. That's too bad but it sounds as though you have many other options with beans.

Faith - Thanks, they are almost dry now and I am looking forward to packing them away soon. Next up is the garlic harvest.:)

AJK said...

Nice harvest! I bought a few fava beans from the farmers market, they were still a bit green, but I planted the most yellowest ones and 2 sprouted! The current heat wave may be the end of them, however. They are growing in the shade of the Mandarin tree to keep them cool.

LynnS said...

Wow, what a harvest!! I see you have more than a few meals in that harvest. Wonderful! I've never even tried to grow the Fava bean. Maybe next year.....

Mr. H. said...

Lynn - If you planted them early they would no doubt do really well for you and I know that with all of your culinary skills you would just have a ball with them. They are a cold weather plant though and would not be liking your hot dry summer at all. I hope you do try them and that you have a less dry summer next year...it's always something isn't it.:)

Dani said...

Mr H - What colour do your beans dry? I am trying the drying method of preserving this year, as last year I froze them and they went off.

The beans I currently have drying have turned a yucky brown... :) Guess they'll rehydrate to that brown colour?

Mr. H. said...

Dani - They do turn from green to brown whe dried and will remain that color once rehydrated...but still taste pretty good.:)

Dani said...

Cool - thanks very much. Was worried I was doing something wrong / drying them too early in their lives LOL

Love the taste of them too :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails