Broad beans, also known as fava beans, are an delicious and versatile vegetable. Rich in vitamin C and protein, they're a great vegetable choice for the British climate. Some broad bean varieties are particularly good for overwintering as a great source of protein. Because it's a bean, Broad Beans can be stored at room temperature for a number of months after harvest, making them a great choice for freezing. In this article we'll explore Broad Beans and why you should grow them.
Broad beans seeds are flat and round and are an annual plant. The tap root of the plant is called a rhizome. They're very easy to grow and don't require much maintenance. As long as you plant them in a warm sunny location they'll stay healthy. If you want to harvest Broad Beans for cooking (known as podling) you'll need to dig a hole about 4" deep and tie with a piece of ribbon or string. The beans will roll out when they get to the surface but if they're left to harden they'll be a dull purple or black colour.
Many people are afraid of Broad beans seeds, so they'll either cook them, pick them, store them, or freeze them. Fortunately, there are several ways to eat them safely. When picking, pick them before they're dry. This ensures that they're not damaged in storage. Most of the time, you'll be able to tell when a bean is overripe just by tasting it.
Once you've got Broad beans seeds, you can plant them in the garden and let them go. There are many different varieties of Broad Beans that you can grow, so you'll probably want to have a variety of plants. You can keep the majority of your seeds indoors in a warm sunny location; however, there may be some that you want to move outside. Once they're outdoors, just dig a hole about 4" deep, tie with a string, and then add some Broad Beans seeds and gently cover the hole in dirt.
The next step is to start your Broad Bean planting. Once you have the seeds, plant them about one inch deep. In a few days, you should see tiny green shoots appear. After a few more days, the little plants will begin to develop little leaves. Within a couple of weeks, the little plants will be turning into small fruits and you can harvest the fruits by pulling off the little green shoots.
To make use of the Broad beans seeds and eat them right away, you need to remove the small green shoots that turn into little pods. To do this, remove the stems from the pods. Simply cut the pod open and pull out the seeds. If you don't get any seeds in the pods, they will be coated in brown sugar and dried up, making for sweet little snack foods. For the best flavor, however, the seeds should be included in your next meal.
Many folks prefer to save the pods for a rainy day sowing their Broad Beans. This means keeping the plant protected from pests and damage. The easiest way to protect the plant from potential damage is by using a screen covering the area around the sowing location. Just be certain to check the area from time to ensure that your broad beans aren't getting damaged or eaten by animals.
Finally, Broad beans seeds are an excellent source of fiber. They're also easy on the digestive system. Try sowing a small seedling in your vegetable garden today. With a little bit of effort, you'll be enjoying your Broad Beans in no time. The secret to getting a good crop is trial and error, but it can be worth the effort when you get the results you want.