Encouraging home gardening and seed saving since 1986

Favas (Broad Beans)


Broad or Fava beans are Mediterranean in origin and so were the only beans grown in Europe until European contact with the Americas. They are now grown worldwide but are not especially well known in North America. In Europe and North America they are generally eaten as fresh shell beans. In most of the rest of the world, they are eaten as dry beans. Broad beans contain tannin in the seed coat which gives them a somewhat bitter taste. There have been blond varieties bred which are low tannin and therefore lack the bitter taste. Many people who consume the dry beans prefer darker seeded varieties as having more flavour. Broad beans are also a valuable crop for maintaining soil fertility as they fix more nitrogen than other legume crops. Remember to save your own seed if you can! By selecting the seed you save, you might develop your own variety of Fava especially suited to your growing conditions. Unlike common beans which are largely self fertile, broad beans cross easily and must be isolated if you want to save pure seed. Like peas, broad beans should be seeded as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. Check out this lovely publication on favas by Ianto Evans of “The Fava Bean Project” from the 80’s and 90’s in Oregon.

Broad Windsor

The large green seeds of Broad Windsor (early 1700’s) can be eaten fresh, frozen, or as a dry bean.

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Price(s): $4.00, $7.00, $15.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams, 125 grams, 500 grams
Witkiem

Witkiem is a Broad Windsor type with blond seed coats and slightly smaller seeds.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Green Windsor

Green Windsor (early 1800’s) has seeds which retain their bright green colour both fresh and dried.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Jubilee Hysor

Jubilee Hysor is listed as an improved Windsor bean with tall plants and 6-8 seeds per pod.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Andy’s Broad Bean

Andy’s Broad Bean comes from a collector in BC who has been selecting this cultivar for several decades. The longest pods contain 6-8 large green seeds.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Masterpiece Green Longpod

Masterpiece Green Longpod (1894) is a tall cultivar (to about 3’) with long pods of green seeds.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Express

Express is said to be the fastest maturing variety available and produces an excellent yield on approx. 1m tall plants. Light coloured medium to large seeds apparently freeze well as they do not discolour. This variety has received a British RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Award of Garden Merit.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Aprovecho Select

Aprovecho Select has the largest seeds of any broad bean we grow. Tall and good yielding. Selected by Ianto Evans at Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Ianto’s Return

A selection made from favas collected by Ianto Evans, the breeder of Aprovecho Select, to develop a fall-seeded (cold tolerant) fresh eating broad bean for the West Coast and other mild winter areas. The medium to large seeds are in pods with 1-4 seeds/pod. The seeds range from blond to mauve to purple with most in the mauve/purple range.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Bunyard’s Exhibition

Bunyard’s Exhibition (1845) is a tall, heavy yielding variety with long pods and white seeds.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Threefold White

Threefold White (late 1800’s) is white-flowered with white seeds which do not darken with cooking. The pods are long and slim and the seeds smaller than those of Broad Windsor.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Con Amore

Con Amore is an Italian cultivar which is a good yielder and mid-season in maturity. The pods are in clusters and give 3 to 5 seeds per pod.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
Polar

Polar is a short early variety. Pods are slim and the medium-sized seeds are white.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 50 grams
The Sutton

The Sutton is an English variety from around 1950. The plants are short (about 2’) and early with medium-sized blond seeds. The young pods can also be eaten like snap beans.

OUT OF STOCK FOR 2019

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Swiss

Swiss has broad pods usually containing 4 to 5 large blond seeds.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Bonnie Lad

Bonnie Lad is a dwarf (approx. 1m in height), white seeded cultivar, slightly taller than The Sutton.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Petite Lac-St-Jean

The earliest French settlers brought broad beans with them to Quebec. They are still popular in the Northern regions like Lac St. Jean and Charlevoix where it is too cool to grow common beans easily. They are traditionally used to make fresh broad bean soup. The small to medium seeds are in pods containing 1-4 seeds. Find an interesting Seeds of Diversity Quebec fava article and recipe for traditional soup here!

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Albina

This variety came to us from Spain. It is said to be best as a fresh baby fava, with sweet and tender seeds. Plants are relatively short, about 1m in height, 4-6 medium sized seeds per pod.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Annie Steffan’s

Annie Steffan’s has small blond seeds and is used for eating fresh or dry.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Cambridge Scarlet

Cambridge Scarlet (1778) has red flowers and bright green seeds, small to medium in size.

OUT OF STOCK FOR 2019

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Belgian Red-Flowered

Belgian Red-Flowered has red flowers and bright green seeds, small to medium in size. This sample came to us from Peter Bauwens of “De Nieuwe Tuin”. Heads up, website is in Dutch, but browse anyway and check out their amazing photographs!

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Aztec Yellow

Aztec Yellow is an early producer of short pods containing one to three large seeds. The seed coats are light yellow and the seeds are yellow right through. Try substituting these for chickpeas in a hummus-like spread/dip.

OUT OF STOCK FOR 2019

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
5B’s Choice

5B’S Choice is a very long podded fava from Full Circle seeds where they say: “Selected for size and number of beans per pod for 80 years, first by David Barton and then by Peter Robin, who passed them on to our farm.”

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Red Epicure

Red Epicure has chestnut red seeds and claims to taste somewhat like chestnuts.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Copper Fava

Copper Fava is late maturing with medium-sized deep copper seeds. Pods are upright containing 1 to 3 seeds, in bunches of 2 to 4 pods per cluster.

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Price(s): $4.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
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