Broad Windsor Fava (Vicia faba) is an English heirloom cool season bean dating back to the 1800s. Plants are fall or winter sown and grow with great vigor to a height of up to five feet, with heavy yields of six to eight-inch pods that produce large succulent green beans that can be eaten fresh or grown to maturity and dried. Young pods are succulent enough to be eaten whole and baby leaves are quite palatable as well and can be prepared and eaten like spinach.
Broad Windsor can also function as a cool-season, frost-tolerant cover crop, producing nitrogen-rich biomass that can be planted into immediately after tilling. We have observed increased vigor, yields, and overall health of vegetable crops sown following a fava cover crop. Favas have a large, deep taproot that aids in loosening tight subsoil. There is just something special about the tilth of the soil after a fava cover crop has been incorporated. A key ally in sustainable soil and nutrient management.
Beans in 80 days when spring-sown, 150 days when fall sown. Annual.
Grown at Mano Farm in Ojai, California