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Hi everyone, I'm new to the group and just recently moved to Bellingham from Seattle, and hoping to get some information on spring planting favas. I read Krista's grain and bean growing report from 2008 and have poked around the posts a little, but I don't see much about fava beans. I haven't grown them before, but from everything I've heard they do excellent in our climate with very little care. Does anyone here have much experience growing them. I'd like to try at least two varieties this year; one for shellys and one for dried beans. For the dried beans I was thinking of growing Ianto's yellow, as I've heard this variety is extremely hardy and actually tastes good as a dried bean. Is it possible to grow spring planted favas for dry beans, or is it best to plant them in fall. What's an approximate planting date for spring down favas? Any other information anyone has on techniques, varieties, etc. is greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Jesse, it's not much more complicated than stick the favas in the ground in February or March and stand back. I have grown favas for cover crops and beans for years. I grow Banner, a small fava, for dried beans because they grow upright and produce a good harvest in a small space. As for actually tasting good, try the ful recipe: cook favas until tender, saute onions and garlic, and simmer all together with tomato sauce and dried peppers, basil, oregano and savory.
Thanks for the quick responses Celt and Walter. Walter, I've read some of your essays and blogs, so it's nice to see you posting on here. I have a question for you about the spacing. In "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades" Steve recommends planting spring favas on raised beds with 4" seed spacing and 18" row spacing. Is this not enough to get by with little or no irrigation? Thanks


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