Sunday, June 5, 2011

fava farewell

This weird weather (with temperatures 20 degrees below normal and 1/2" of rain in the past 36 hours) made for an attenuated fava bean harvest and required a fire for the early June comfort of fava-shellers Emily and Tyler, WWOOFers with a rich international background who are currently attending Sarah Lawrence and Penn State respectively.

Here they deal with the last of the harvest (excepting some that I'm letting dry on the stalk for next year's seed). Beginning in late April we've delivered 30-40 pounds of fava weekly to the Sonshine Food Closet. Last year, many of the food bank's clients did not know what fava beans were; this year they eagerly seek them out, and a few are asking for seeds to plant in the fall.

Fava beans (careful - don't get me started!) enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen, can be planted after the summer crops are done, require no irrigation, yield copious amounts of nutritious beans, and produce easily-saved seed for the following year. A true miracle crop.
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