Fava bean, Broad bean
From northwest Africa and Southwest Asia. Actually a giant vetch, this cool-season bean is best known in coastal climates. Cook and eat immature pods like edible pod peas; prepare immature and mature seeds in same way as green or dry limas. Note that a very few people (mainly of Mediterranean ancestry) have an enzyme deficiency that can cause severe reactions to the beans and even the pollen.
Apart from its use as a culinary vegetable, this is often grown as a winter cover crop that is tilled into the soil to enrich and improve it before spring planting.
In cold-winter areas, plant as early in spring as soil can be worked; in mild climates, plant in fall for harvest in late winter or early spring. Matures in 120 to 150 days. Space rows 1 1/2–2 1/2 ft. apart. Sow seeds 1 in. deep, 4–5 in. apart; thin to 8–10 in. apart. Plants produce bushy growth to 2–4 ft. high.
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