Encouraging home gardening and seed saving since 1986

Vicia


This category contains two Vicias, Vicia faba and Vicia villosa, that look very different from each other.
A general note about Vicia faba: 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.

Bell

Bell is a small seeded fava that is fall seeded for a cover crop in areas where the winters are mild. Cook the seeds fresh or dried.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Orion

Orion is a field fava bred by Agriculture Canada from an initial cross in 1975. This is a short, very early, cultivar with small round to oblong seeds.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Snowbird

Snowbird is a recent cultivar of a small-seeded field fava as early as Orion. It is usually grown to be a protein supplement in animal feed. Its pure white flowers and blond seeds indicate that it is tannin-free, which makes the seed more digestible.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Coffee Bean

Coffee Bean was sent to Jim from the Prince Albert area with the information that the small seeds were roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Seeds are tan, heavily mottled with black.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Martoc

Martock is a village in Somerset which has given its name to the oldest broad bean cultivar in England, where records of it go back to the 12th century. The upright pods are in clusters and usually contain 2-4 small, almost round tan seeds, like modern field favas. In medieval times, Martock beans were usually dried and then subsequently used in soups, stews and gruels, the mainstay of the medieval peasants’ winter diet. Jim grew two samples of this fava which proved to be different so we are offering them both, under the names they came with. Martoc is the shorter and earlier of the two with the typical white flowers with a black dot in the centre.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Martock

Martock is a village in Somerset which has given its name to the oldest broad bean cultivar in England, where records of it go back to the 12th century. The upright pods are in clusters and usually contain 2-4 small, almost round tan seeds, like modern field favas. In medieval times, Martock beans were usually dried and then subsequently used in soups, stews and gruels, the mainstay of the medieval peasants’ winter diet. Jim grew two samples of this fava which proved to be different so we are offering them both, under the names they came with. Martock is later and taller and better yielding. Its flowers have additional pale purple streaks across the white petals.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Ilumán

Rachelle spent a couple of months in Ilumán, Ecuador a few years ago and brought some favas from the local market. Ilumán has large elongated pale green seeds, usually with 1-3 seeds per pod.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
Small Ilumán

Rachelle spent a couple of months in Ilumán, Ecuador a few years ago and brought some favas from the local market. Small Ilumán has pods in clusters of 3 or 4. There are 1-4 small to medium blond seeds per pod.

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Price(s): $3.00
Packet Size(s): 25 seeds
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