It is December 19th and we have had quite a few nights in the lower 20s. The fava beans planted outside are still growing and I will gather more tops today when hopefully the temperature gets up in the 50s.
Fava beans are not supposed to live under 26 degrees and I can’t understand why these ones keep growing. They never did before. It’s ok though. I’ll take all the tops I can get!
I will be able to report soon on how the last kitchen experiment is going with hydrophonic sprouts of fava beans. We’ll see if it works better than the last one. There has got to be a way for people to make their own without having to grow a garden!
There there is a will, there’s a way!!
We now have a special needs rabbit on the farm. Our Thumper became paralyzed in his back legs. We are not sure why. He is eating and dragging himself around in the walkways of the greenhouse over soft grass-clippings.Â We are trying to make him a support with wheels so he can get more exercise. He is so sweet.
He has only been like this for 11 days and could still have trouble with complications other than his legs. But, we are doing the best we can for him. I put a couple of the bunnies sired by him in the greenhouse to run about yesterday. They are five plus weeks old now and so cute. He really got excited and interacted with them. It was fun to watch them racing down the walkwaysÂ between the raised beds. The only problem was that they were having so much fun and were then hard to catch to put back with their mother again.
I pray you are staying warm and well and may this be a blessed Christmas for you all!
Picked my first fava beanÂ plant tops from the greenhouse experimental patch (which are doing beautifully so far). Many people have asked how many fava beans would they have to grow to make tincture.Â I have 2 raised beds in the upper garden still producing…counted the plants (74) and gathered 2 Cups of fava tops from them on Saturday.Â These 2 Cups dried and crushed were just under 1/2 Cup to mix with brandy and make tincture…so that will make approximately 1/3rd of a peanut butter jar of tincture. (which will probably be enough for my doses for a month or so) You can harvest “tops” from the plant about every week after they start to flower…so good healthy plants may give you 3, 4 or 5 weeks of picking new tops of side shoots depending on weather conditions.
I GROW MANY MORE PLANTS THAN THESE 2 RAISED BEDS. Also, I grew these plants only about 4 inches apart in a row and 8 inches between rows…..planted late just to have for tincture tops and not for beans.Â Â If you are growing them for beans…they need to be at least 6 inches apart and 10 to 12 inches between rows (2 rows together and then 16 inches before the next two rows to make a good walking space/kneeling space for harvesting. They will keep growing down to 26 degrees.
We picked our first yellow summer squash out of the greenhouse on Friday and used it on a delicious homemade gluten-free pizza with fresh sweet peppers still coming in from the garden. (Also dried tomatoes, onions, garlic and cut up blue lake bush green beans/ tomato sauceÂ and a smidge of cheese). YUMMY and healthy too.
Hurricane Sandy is on it’s way and they are predicting a cold spell this week with snow….but only down to freezing the end of the week…we’ll see if the field plants mind snow on them.
Blessings….Stay warm ..
A lot has been happening on the favaÂ beans farm. There are several little raised beds of fava beans growing…including, surprisingly enough, a few fava beans plants in the greenhouse under severe heat. The only thing I can figure with this is the humidity, because of the condensation on the inside of the plastic.
Sometimes when I walk in my glasses completely steam up for a few seconds (like when opening an oven door to peek in). Anyway, the favas look healthy…it’s a micro climate in there, as long as it is watered things grow well. So we’ll see if favas can make it to a harvest this way.
I am busy making raised beds …getting ready to plant bush beans /pole beans/spinach/carrots tomatoes /sweet peppers/ cabbage /broccoli/Brussel sprouts/ kiwi etc…
Also trying to make new plants from my existing ones….fig/ grape/ roses/ comfrey, etc. HaveÂ put in seeds of the last papaya that I now haveÂ fermenting…
Half of the greenhouse is now ready to plant. It will take a week to clear and make beds of the last half…a lot of work digging the ground/making beds, hauling in soil from outside and probably going for another load of compost to make it more fertile and loose.
May God Bless You !!
There are no fences which protect Aunt Bean’s Fava Bean plants from exploitationÂ by deer, foxes and rabbits. How does she protect her valuable fava beans from being eaten by uninvited guests? Watch the video to discover her secret.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Pioneers of Recovery
[flashvideo filename=videos/favascarecrow.flv image=videos/favascarecrow.jpg /]
Greetings from TN.Â We had a beautiful day today, up to 70 degrees, but we will have more cold weather for sure.Â I have planted my first fava beans for 2011.Â The ones that I planted in the 50 feet raised bed with hoops and a row cover are finally starting to grow.Â They have been sitting kind of dormant since planted in November….they must have gotten the signal from nature that it is finally time!Â They are beautiful and I crawled down the middle of the 2 rows and weeded.
Also, was able to weed and remulch the 100 asparagus plants that were started from seed last year,Â The spears are starting to pop thru the ground now.Â Â A few spears broke off and were immediately enjoyed fresh and raw ….delicious!
We still haven’t found anyone to work at moving the big greenhouse that the neighbor gave us…but, there is a new person coming to look at it on Monday.Â His wife has PD.Â Â Â He helped a couple of days in the garden last summer, and we hope he will have a good idea how to get started.
I am looking forward to having more beautiful days to enjoy digging, planting, harvesting. Have started making a few arbors to plant vines on and create shaded places for people to sit thru-out the garden.
Also,Â hope to find a source for old carpet to turn upside down and lay in the pathways…making aÂ smooth pathway for wheelchairs to travel on. I’ve read that the old carpet will hold up for several years before falling apart.Â Â I will have a lot of work just keeping the raised beds weeded, without constantly fighting the weeds and grass growing in the pathways (which will be wide enough for 3 people side by side/ wheelchairs , and a wider loop that a golf cart and wagon can go thru to haul water/ mulch, etc…)