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As promised yesterday, today we are going to look at the relationship between fava bean plants, aphids and beneficial insects.

Take a look at this video from Cityfarmer TV.

 

 

The narrator suggests sometimes letting one pest that isn't causing much damage go can help out with later, more severe problems.

Do you grow fava beans? Have you ever seen aphids on them?

Those who guessed lima beans for last week's mystery seed of the week were very close. The big beans were actually fava or faba beans, Vicia faba.

Fava-Vicia_faba1
Illustration from Wikimedia

Fava beans were originally from the Middle East and spread to the Mediterranean, northern Africa and southwest Asia. Now they are grown throughout the world.

fava-bean-flowers

The plants are cool season annuals with white, pea-like flowers.

fava-bean-pods

To eat the seeds of the fava beans, first they must be removed from the pod. The seeds have a tough outer layer that must also be removed.

This video shows how to prepare the seeds.

 

If you have never tried fava beans, be aware that they are known to cause a severe adverse reaction known as favism in some people.

Fava beans are quite susceptible to aphids, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I was introduced to them when I used to grow fava beans to produce aphids to feed to lady bugs. See more about fava beans, aphids and lady bugs for Bug of the Week tomorrow.

Do you eat fava beans? Do you have a favorite recipe?