A Salute to Bean Farmers

The fava beans plants pulled from the ground and placed on garden cart.This is it. The complete fava bean harvest. All those big, bulky, ugly plants fit into the garden cart.

The beans, when they first started to grow, had the prettiest white flowers with purple centers. Then everything turned ugly. The flowers instead of wilting and falling off, stayed on the plant as they turned darker and shriveled up. The beans pods started to grow in an upward position and pulled the five foot stocks toward the ground.

The stalks ended up gnarled twisted vines with clumps of hulk-looking bean pods that pointed upward like accusing, green, arthritic fingers.

My first attempt to grow the unusual beans will probably be my last attempt. When I pulled the pods off the vines (it was a struggle where the vines got the better of me), the total harvest fit into a three gallon container.

The pods themselves looked like they would be full of beans, but less than half ever developed. The pods were phantoms, they grew and took nourishment from the plant but used all the energy to bulk up a pod with the white flesh instead of forming beans that would grow to maturity.

Fava beans on the drying rack.I ended up with slightly less than two trays of green beans for the dehydrator.

It was a very disappointing harvest to say the least.

The final outcome only filled one sandwich bag, and in my opinion, they don’t even look very pretty in this stage either.

The whole harvest when dried fit into a sandwich bag.

 

The stalks and opened pods were fed to the cows. At first sniff, they knew that this vegetable was different. Eventually they did eat it all.

My hat is off to the fava bean farmers all over the world. How you can produce a harvest from this unusual vegetable is beyond my abilities. I think I’ll stick to basic green beans.

 

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