Oh man am I sick of that joke. The fava beans were a dang afterthought! Though I am a fan of Chianti…
I had a badly placed spinach bed which I started planting very late in February/March. I planted 4 varieties as an experiment to see which would grow best. We ate all of them, but temperature and bugs made spinach not great to grow by late May/early June. Spinach is really a cold weather crop- which means in SF you can grow it from like October through May or even June! But we had a weird heat wave here which cut our spinach short. It all bolted- and I got to work. I moved the bed to a better location, and I started looking for a cover crop to plant during the hot months to fix nitrogen to the soil and to serve as green compost once the cold weather starts. There were a few seeds sold as cover crop at my local garden center but I settled on fava beans because all the others had the kind of flowers my mom and I are allergic to. Well. They… certainly grew. This was around July 10th:
This was today:
I don’t think I’ve eaten a fava bean in my life- but I have a feeling in a few months I’m going to be eating a lot of them!
There has been one problem. Aphids. I noticed them earlier this month- lots of them inside where the new leaves are growing from. As with the beans- I found them by following the ants.
This isn’t that bad- took this picture today after a few weeks of treatment, and this was the only really bad one. I’m using the same treatments as the green beans, and it’s going well.
Never fear! The ladybugs are here!
I’ll have to google fava bean recipes, and after I’ve eaten my fill I’ll chop up the leaves and stems, bury it under a layer of good potting soil- and plant my spinach for the winter and spring! As long as nature cooperates of course, as in San Francisco that’s… not a given.