Genus: Broad Bean
Synonym: Vicia faba
A popular heritage which has lovely texture and flavour, unique and colourful early maturing broad bean from Italy. As one of the hardiest broad beans it can be sown from autumn through to spring, and, as it establishes itself very quickly will produce you a very early crop. Serving Suggestion: Harvested from plot to plate in minutes serve either simply with a knob of butter after lightly boiling for 2 minutes or as a base of a humous, risotto or in a salad mixed with Feta and Bacon. For the best flavour, pick the beans when they are starting to show through the pod while the scar on the end of the beans is still white or green (although they can still be enjoyed after the scar has turned black).
For the earliest crops sow seeds from autumn to late winter or sow in spring
Broad beans are best suited to a cool climate, and they only grow satisfactorily at temperatures below 15°C (60°F). If sowing in the autumn, choose a sheltered position. Direct sowing: Broad beans are traditionally sowed in double rows 7cm (2in.) deep, 23cm (9in.) apart in the row. The double rows should be spaced 23cm (9in.) apart and a distance of 40 to 60cm (18 to 24in.) should be left before the next set of double rows. Plant seed 5cm deep. They should be planted or thinned to 20cm apart in staggered rows 30cm apart.