Fava Bean, Sweet Lorane (Organic)
Small seeded favas are usually relegated to cover crop status, but Sweet Lorane was selected to have good, sweet flavor, so it’s an excellent choice for a dual-purpose crop to feed both the soil and the gardener. The flavor is excellent and is especially delicious in fava hummus. Usually sown in autumn for cover cropping and for higher yields, favas may also be spring sown. Extremely winter hardy – we have seen this variety muster through winter temps of 0°F with only a few inches of snow for protection. When grown as a dry bean, Sweet Lorane is less prone to splitting during harvest and processing than the larger seeded types. Bred by Steve Solomon in the 1980s and re-selected more recently by Alan Adesse right here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Direct sow 2″ deep mid-September to late October, or February to March for spring sowings. Plant 8″ apart in rows spaced 1′ apart. Favas don’t do well in the heat; late spring through summer plantings are not recommended.
Harvest seed from pods that are fully dry. Shell by hand or by dancing on the dry pods, winnow to clean. Test for dryness with a hammer – dry beans shatter, moist beans squish. Once seeds are clean and dry, freeze to kill weevils. Fava beans cross-pollinate; isolate from other varieties by a minimum of a ¼ mile to guarantee seed purity.