Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring is here! Fava Beans in the Ground!

Spring has finally arrived and we are busy getting seed into the ground for this year's animal feed harvests.  Yes it is a tad early, but some plants are fine germinating in the cooler weather. This includes the new trial crop for 2017, FAVA BEANS!

The beans are a good 1/2 to 3/4 inch across, sometimes as much as an inch! That is the largest bean I have ever seen!

Here is a pile of beans spilled out on the grass

We are trying heriloom fava beans to use as animal feed. They are very starchy beans that grow in HUGE pods with HUGE beans! The nutritional stats look good, and the weather profile looks acceptable for an early spring planting.

So this week we planted 6 rows of 60 yards each in fava beans. There are no drip lines yet,  which is unique for our system. But the weather should see some nice bouts of rain yet, enough to sprout these seeds, so we literally just tilled up the driest spot available and put seeds in. If the rain doesn't materialize over the weekend, then we will install drip lines.

These beans are too large to fit any of the hand push automatic seeders, so we needed another way to avoid the planting backache. The answer? a 3/4 inch PVC pipe! I held the pipe at one end, placed the bottom where I wanted the seed, and dropped one down. It would land in a small impression, and Hunter would come along to bury and compress them. This was quite efficient! Occasionally the beans would not fit, but not too often. Usually they slid right down with a song and a thud.

Our homemade fava bean planter. Just a piece of 3/4 inch pipe. Drop one at the top as you walk down the row and it is easy to space them out without bending over. 

Then just follow along and bury each one by hand.
We managed to turn a 60 yard by 120 yard patch of pasture into a garden, with 6 60 yard rows of fava beans planted, all in one day. We just finished as the sun set.

No comments:

Post a Comment