The Cottage Gardener

The Cottage Gardener Online Catalogue

We have been providing rare and endangered heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers to gardeners and market growers since 1996. Our online catalogue has over 650 heirloom seed varieties available, in retail packet sizes and bulk amounts. We have one of the most diverse selections of Certified Organic seeds in Canada, and we add to this each year.



Fava Beans

  1. A Description of Fava Beans

    Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are an ancient cultivated food crop whose wild ancestor has disappeared. Although called beans, they are actually a member of the pea family, and as such are great nitrogen fixers in the soil. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate them and the Celts used the dried beans to help them get through the winter. A food staple in England and much of Europe, they were popular in North America until Peter Henderson introduced the bush lima bean which quickly replaced them on the table. The plants grow straight and tall (to 4 ft) and produce long, green pods with 2-4 beans per pod. The beans can be eaten green when young (before the pods fill out) or left to dry on the plant. Fava beans are cold-weather plants and should be sown as early in spring as possible, about the same time as peas. In more moderate climates, they can be sown in fall and overwintered. They do not like the heat. Note that the beans need to have their outer coating removed before eating.


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U.S. Customers Only Due to recent U.S. changes in import regulations, we regret that we cannot ship seeds to the U.S. at this time.