Fava beans with a nice…

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.

Also:

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.

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