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  • Debbie Arrington /

    Fava flowers look unusual and they're edible, too. The flowers, which have the same hood-like appearance as other legumes, are white with black splotches. They grow directly on the main stem.

  • Debbie Arrington /

    :Fava bean pods grow directly out of the main stem instead of on branches. The 3-foot plant is very upright and doesn't need a trellis for support.

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The Bee garden

Published: Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7CALIFORNIA LIFE

Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.

Fava beans recently were featured in our Food & Wine section. Super-easy to grow, they're a favorite for local gardeners. We went to our own Bee Garden for this fava update.

Fava beans are now reaching their peak season. You may have seen favas and not known it. Many local organic gardeners grow them as a winter cover crop, but this generous plant is a lot tastier than alfalfa.

The flowers are white with black splotches and grow directly on the main stem. The bean pods then grow like green fingers shooting out from that same main stem.

Eventually, the pods will reach 8 inches long or more with button-like beans, each bigger than a quarter. The pretty green leaves are edible, too. They taste a lot like spinach.


Do you have a gardening photo, tip or story to share? Or do you want to publicize a community garden event or activity? Post your news via our virtual SacBee Garden at Also, email your submissions to h& (put "SacBee Garden" in the subject line). Or mail it to: SacBee Garden, Home & Garden, Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. Follow us on Twitter @SacBeeGarden.

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