Broad beans

crimson-flowered broad bean

I like to have a few patches of legumes scattered through the perennial crops in the forest garden, as they have bacteria-filled nodules on their roots that fix nitrogen direct from the atmosphere, so they feed the system at the same time as producing a crop. I’ve got peas (Pisum sativum) and the perennial pea Lathyrus latifolius planted with the raspberries – both as experiments – this year and a few native vetches scattered around. Broad beans (Vicia faba) are so productive and reliable that you really can’t go wrong with them. One very useful discovery this year is that the leaves as well as the beans are edible and nice.

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