Vicia faba (75 days) Open-pollinated. Bush type. The classic heirloom variety, listed by Fearing Burr in Field and Vegetable Gardens of America in 1863. We sell about a half ton of these each year. Brown seed. ③In susceptible humans who have inherited a specific enzyme deficiency, within a few minutes of inhaling pollen or several hours after eating fava beans, a severe allergic reaction occurs. Most individuals have this enzyme and are not affected.
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Avg 35 seeds/pkt, 280 per lb. Also called broad beans and horse beans.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
Mainstays in many cultures from ancient Rome to modern-day Mexico, Egypt, Sudan, the Middle East, Brazil and India. Rich in fiber and iron and highest of all beans in protein. You can even eat the leaves!
Culture: Favas tolerate frost and prefer daytime air temps below 75°. More heat can cause poor pod set, while in cooler climates a second flush can appear. Don’t delay: sow the large seeds 3–4" apart as early as peas. Usually harvested when the 2–3 light green beans in the 3–6" glossy pods reach the green shell stage—shelled beans need to be squeezed out of their membranes after parboiling. To avoid this double shelling, you can harvest young pods to slice and sauté, or a little later when membranes of shelled young beans are still tender. Favas can also be mashed into a nutty spread.
Melanie Edwards of Eastport, ME, advises: “If you cook them fresh-picked they need to be parboiled only 1–2 minutes in lightly salted water. If they have been in the refrigerator a while, give them a minute more. Utterly delicious when a small bit of the cooking water is eaten with the bean. Gently break open the seed casing with your front teeth and squeeze out the inside. Shelling your own as you eat them is similar to the difference between eating corn on the cob and whole kernel corn. No comparison.”
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.