Growing Fava Beans for Edible Leaves and Greens

I love favas as an edible plant way more than the actual fava beans themselves, the taste of fava greens is kind of a combination of spinach and fresh peas, if you like either of those you are sure to adore this easy to grow green as much as I do. In my climate Favas are one of the earliest and latest crops I can sow, plus they are super low maintenance, low demand. I don’t fertilize or prepare the beds in any way.  If you are into accurate spacing I find one to two inches on centers works nicely.  I am doing a huge sowing of favas for greens right now pretty much all over the garden, in every currently available space. While I am waiting to plant summer crops, the fava greens will have come and gone long before I need the space for tomatoes, potatoes and squash. I have experimented with starting in doors and transplanting but it turned out to be a lot of work for not much results. Favas don’t transplant well and sprout so quickly, at best I won a couple of days with transplants but any harvest time gains were completely off set by the number of plants that died after transplanting.

Gardening with kids favas are a nice choice, the large seeds are easy to handle and provide almost instant gratification as their green leaves pop up within a few days. Don’t worry about the lack of accuracy children tend to have when planting, fava greens are such a quick crop they will be eaten before anybody notices the little ones didn’t follow the planting instructions. To harvest fava greens snip off at ground level when the plants reach between 2” to 6” tall, while the fava plants are still young the stems should be tender enough to eat, no need to separate the leaves from the stems, just cook them up stems and all. I have not had any success with fava greens as a “cut and come again” once I harvested them they were gone for good. If I don’t eat all the fava greens while they are fresh I want to experiment with freezing.  In years where I have allowed my favas to produce seed they do not appear to be self sowers, but I think its time to start saving some seeds as fava greens are becoming a staple in my gardening menu.

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5 Responses to Growing Fava Beans for Edible Leaves and Greens

  1. Pingback: Singapore Style Noodles with Fava Bean Leaves and Asian BBQ Mushrooms | My Little City Food Garden

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  4. Carol V says:

    We planted favas as green manure but never had time to turn them under. We left most of them to reseed, and boy, did they ever. We are now ready to pick the small plants to eat as greens.

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