Broad Windsor - Fava Bean


Broad Windsor - Fava Bean


Vicia Faba

The classic English heirloom Fava is known for it’s large and tasty seeds often shelled in the green stage.   Broad Windsor is the classic English heirloom.  It is known for producing very large seeds that are often used in the green stage prepared with herbs and spices.  Research the many ways that you can prepare these mild beans. The 2-3 foot tall unbranched stalks produce white flowers with black markings that attract beneficial insects.  Later 4-5 inch pods that contain 3-5 seeds each are produced.   Favas should be planted very early in the year, here on Long Island planting in early March to April when the ground is not frozen.  
85 days.  

30 seeds.  (15 ft row)

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Fava Beans
Packet will plant 15 ft row (30 seeds)

A row of early spring planted Fava beans can produce shelled beans for early summer after about 70 days.   Fava beans produce 2-3 foot upright plants which are determinate and bear all at one time for a feast or two.   Fava’s are unusual beans in that they require cooler conditions for the best production and may succeed in partial shade.  In warmer regions the seeds can be planted in the fall to over winter.

Sow fave bean seeds 1-2 inches deep and 6 inches apart.  In short season regions, start broad beans indoors in peat pots and set them into the garden shortly after the last frost in spring or plant seeds directly into the ground.

Zip open the plump green pods and remove the large seeds.  Blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then plunge into ice water.  Each plump bean has a waxy outer coat which slips right off.  The beans can now be cooked until tender and used in any fave recipe.  Good, especially paired with pasta.

Fava beans are a different species than the common bean.  They may cross with one another when planted close together but usually don’t.   They will not cross with garden beans.  Allow the beans to mature on the vines at the end of the season and the pods to dry black.  A very easy seed saving project.