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applestar
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When to pick Broad Beans? Best way to eat?

First time growing Broad Beans (Windsor). They're finally starting to fill out (70 days since DS, packet said 75 days), but the pods felt a bit spongy when I tried to feel for the beans inside. I also don't know WHAT they (the beans themselves) are supposed to look like when mature and ready to pick. So ... HELP!! -helpsos-

And any tips on best way to eat them would be most appreciated. :()

DoubleDogFarm
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Apple,

Windsor are a large variety of Fava. Up to 7 beans the size of a quarter. Wait until they fill out. Shell and eat green. Then keep some until the pods turn black and store for winter use. Dry bean

tedln
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Applestar,

I belong to an allotment forum in the United Kingdom. Broad beans, Courgette, and potatoes seem to be what they grow more than anything else. The biggest concern they have is when the black flies (aphids) will arrive and attack their Broad Beans. I don't remember the details, but it seems they clip off the new growth at the top of the plants at a certain time to deter the Black Flies. You can do a google search for Broad Beans in England and will find lots of information on growing them and preparing them to eat. They always sounded like something that required more work than I wanted to put out.

Ted
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DoubleDogFarm
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Ted,

I find them no more difficult to grow then say, green beans or garlic. We here plant Favas in the fall and they winter over and finish late spring.

This fall I'll be plant half pound of Negreta. My new raised beds were not ready last fall, so I missed out.

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applestar
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DD, Tedln, thanks for the info.
It's always fun to try new things. I got curious because a lot of resources said to plant peas and broadbeans first thing in spring. A funny contrast to planting the rest of the beans and cowpeas/southern peas after the soil warms up (which I'm trying also :wink:).

Black aphids were certainly bad. I wanted to to see what would happen, especially with so many aphid-related beneficial insects getting involved (Aphidiid wasp, ladybugs, hoverflies, praying mantis babies, even goldfinches and house finches), so didn't do anything to control them. 8)

I have the Windsors planted in three locations.
(1) In one location, top 6" one of the bean plants have turned black and fallen over. Others are covered but still hanging on but are looking pretty bad. In fact, I haven't been able to spot any pods forming of these. This area gets hottest and driest, and has the worst underlying clay soil, so the plants go through a great deal of stress.
(2) My NKG (New Kitchen Garden) where they are planted next to lemon balm (the bottom of the plants are completely obscured by the lemon balm) and also with Golden India pole snowpeas growing just a little taller, there are hardly any aphids. This location was planted first under plastic tent, and the beans are most developed. The plants are also tallest with some growing nearly 3 feet). This bed is in shade most of the early morning and in late afternoon and is in the drain field of the outdoor faucet so the soil tends to stay evenly moist. (Broadbeans are doing great, the peas are not, actually.)
(3) In the Kids' Garden, they are just starting to get aphids on them. Early morning shade but full sun for the rest of the day and it get a little dry sometimes. These are starting to pod as well.

I don't think they could overwinter around here though I might try that. For me, a lot of "overwinter" type gardening requires ridiculous efforts to protect the plants unless I have something really well-designed and thought out in place. It's a backburner project that I want to try at some point, but I'm not sure if I'll get to it this year. (Having said that, I'm currently looking for a used dog kennel or similar sturdy, constructed structure to use as a frame. I also scrounged some electrical metal conduit pipes with an idea that I might make something with them :roll: Wish you were here to weld/whip something together for me, DD! :wink:) How tall to they get in fall before winter?

DoubleDogFarm
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apple,

I'll be planting my favas in October-November along with my garlic. Separate beds of coarse or maybe not, hmmm. You being in a colder zone should probably wait until February-March to sow. Favas reach about 6" tall then winter over.

I just read, this morning, about pinching off the tops, at the sign of first pod. Also hoeing soil against their base to help support. I have never done either of these ideas. :idea:

tedln
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Eric,

Do you also have the aphid problem on your broad beans? In England, the Broad Bean seems to be the plant that they are attracted to earliest and most.

Ted
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DoubleDogFarm
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Aphids are not much of a problem here. I have a Seneca Plum that has a aphid problem almost ever year. This tree may go by the way of the saw soon. It's been quite a few years sense I've seen aphids in the vegetable garden.

Leaf miner is my enemy. :evil:

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applestar
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BROAD BEANS ARE A HIT! :()

Harvested one pod this morning -- simply shelled and blanched in salted boiling water (1 each for the 3 of us -- it was a short pod) It went over very well, so I harvested 4 more pods (longer ones this time) this evening and made a sort of Succotash -- Butter salted boiling water, frozen corn, shelled broad beans and Snow Peas. The kids were asking for 2nds and 3rds. :-()

tedln
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Applestar,

I've never eaten them. Are they similar to an over-sized Lima bean?

Ted
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applestar
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They LOOK like oversized Limas except you can't eat the leathery skin -- you have to squeeze them out. Flavor is mild and don't have the strong flavor I associate with limas, maybe *because* you're not eating the skin. However, I've never had freshly picked homegrown limas....

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App, how do you "squeeze" them out of their skins? Is that what the boiling water if for? How long of a dip do you give them in it?

Thanks.
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applestar
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:lol: You are asking the casual cook how long, as in minutes?
They puffed up, then some burst, so I called them done. If the skin hasn't burst, just bite a slit in the opposite end from where they were attached to the pod.

2nd time, I put the beans in the boiling 1/4~1/2" salted buttered water, then added the frozen corn. When the corn was done with some stirring, I served them and the beans were done though not burst.

DoubleDogFarm
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Can I say Uff-Dah. Are you cooking them in the shell. :(

Remove the fresh (green) fava bean from the shell. Saute them in a little salt and butter. Saute in olive oil with a little garlic is good too. :D

They split really easy. Just pull apart along the seam

tedln
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I would like to give them a try in the kitchen, but I don't remember seeing them sold in the vegetable market. Are fresh Fava/Broad beans commonly available in the market? If not, any idea why not?

Ted
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applestar
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DD, put your reading glasses on :wink:
simply shelled and blanched in salted boiling water.... ...made a sort of Succotash -- Butter salted boiling water, frozen corn, shelled broad beans
I'm talking about the inner bean skin. What happens to the skin when you sautee? Do they get crispy or something? After blanching/boiling the skin is leathery.

Tedln, I remember seeing them at Whole Foods.

The interior of the pods are interesting. Such soft cushy cradle for the babies. :D

DoubleDogFarm
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Here is some information for Italian descents and others.

https://italianfood.about.com/od/vegetablesandsidedishes/ig/Frutta-e-Verdura/Fava-Bean-Pods.htm

One important thing to know about Fava Beans is that they can cause Favism, a serious form of anemia, in people who lack a blood enzyme and thus suffer from a condition called Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency, or G6PD. In Italy about 0.5% of the population suffers from Favism, though some Sardinian villages have peaks as high as 30%, as do some Greek villages and some African populations. Symptoms begin 12-48 hours after eating the beans, with the victim feeling tired and becoming pale and jaundiced. Should this happen, take the victim to the hospital!

katylaide
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You can make felafels out of dry broad beans. I haven't tried it, but it seems like a good idea.

DoubleDogFarm
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DD, put your reading glasses on
:shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:

What good would they do, apparently I can't read. :wink:

Carry on :P

garden5
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I'll be you were thinking about "shelling" peas, weren't you DD? :lol:
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