Vicia faba ~35 seeds/pkt, 280 per lb. Also called broad beans and horse beans. Mainstays in many cultures from ancient Rome to modern-day Mexico, Brazil and India. Rich in fiber and iron and highest of all beans in protein.
Melanie Edwards of Eastport, ME, advises: “If you cook them fresh-picked they need to be parboiled only 1–2 minutes in lightly salted water. If they have been in the refrigerator a while, give them a minute more. Utterly delicious when a small bit of the cooking water is eaten with the bean. Gently break open the seed casing with your front teeth and squeeze out the inside. Shelling your own as you eat them is similar to the difference between eating corn on the cob and whole kernel corn. No comparison.”
Culture: Well adapted to our cool northeast climate, they tolerate frost, but do not thrive in hot weather. Unlike with other beans, don’t wait; sow the large seeds 3–4" apart as soon as the ground can be worked. Vermont market grower Alan LePage sowed his on April 11 in 2014. Harvest when the light green beans in the 6" glossy pods reach the green shell stage.