Whilst all beans will have the useful trait of being Biological Nitrogen Fixers (Leguminous) for our soils (Bringing Nitrogen back into the soil naturally) which may have leached out trough heavy rainfall, for example.

The Broad Bean (Fava Bean) is particularly useful to anyone who prefers to ”model nature” (John Kohler’s words) and not rely on chemical non-natural based off the shelf products which, in the end, bring a negative balance to local ecosystems.

Broad Bean Plants

Broad Bean Plants

Positive Traits that make them so useful:

  • Tolerant of heavy soils (Clay),
  • Cold Hardy (not specifically needing be grown in a greenhouse or poly tunnel during winter),
  • Nitrogen Fixing,
  • Green Manure (Chop and Drop before going to seed / flower),
  • Some varieties are used as animal feed and forage,
  • Extremely easy to save seeds,
  • Vigorous growth and,
  • Fast germination too

You can plant them in winter (best in October / November in the northern hemisphere) for a good cropping in spring, but also most specifically, if you plant them in the middle of November, they wont grow too tall and it’s this time that you want to grow exclusively for Nitrogen Fixing, you will merely ”chop and drop” (Cut them before they make seed, and spread the choppings on your bed/s) in order to provide a Nitrogen Rich green manure for the upcoming growing season, there are other varieties of beans you can use for this very purpose if Broad Beans are too valuable for using as a nitrogen fixing chop and drop green manure such as Field Beans, as mentioned in this video with the UK’s Patrick Whitefield:

To quote the blog ‘Transterrform’ …. ”The Fava Bean can bring resilience and health to any permaculture system and should not be overlooked by anyone interested in sustainable agriculture.”

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