Open Source Plant Breeding Forum

General Category => Plant Breeding => Legumes => Topic started by: William S. on 2018-12-18, 09:07:43 AM

Title: Fava breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-18, 09:07:43 AM
So I have a lovely fava grex. It's Josephs Landrace + Iantos return + Early Windsor + Windsor + Frog Island Nation

I started with Early Windsor and was planting it in May and barely getting back any seed. Then in 2017 I learned to plant them in March and got the rest.

Now I can grow favas great and have a really interesting population. However I don't yet actually eat fava so right now it's a great cover crop that I may learn to eat.

Where do I go from here?

Possibility 1. Color selection, select out a purple strain say

Possibility 2. Culinary selection. Try it, sort the colors, see if some taste better.

Possibility 3. Seed Size Selection. Maybe the small seeded ones would make a better cover crop.

Possibility 4. I left a lot of seed on the plants in 2018. If I get any volunteers at all that could be a selection direction for volunteering ability or hardiness of some kind.

Possibility 5. I could plant a portion of the grex in May. This was pretty stressful for "Early Windsor" and at least one purple seeded long season strain from territorial couldn't be grown this way for me. So I wouldn't get much seed back but I might be able to select a population that was at least as competent as "Early Windsor" was at being seeded late. Lots of people around here plant everything in May- so it might be nice to breed for that habit and see if improvement can be made there.

Possibility 6. Try dry farming it, see if that stresses the population (read stresses as "ideally kills of 90% but allows 10% to set seed") and creates some selection.

Possibility 7. Combinations of the above. Select for late planting And purple color say.

I've also been contemplating offering it as is, it's doing so well I think very little natural or artificial selection but a lot of crossing has probably happened so far. This could be in addition to further selection myself. However there isn't an OSSI pledged fava yet. That said if Joseph pledged his Fava landrace or Ianto his Iantos return mine would be a bit redundant considering little actual selection has happened. Though it would be great if someone would pledge a fava grex because it raises all the possibilities above plus any that a creative person might come up with or whos growing environment might come up with for them.



Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-18, 11:33:19 AM
There are a couple other breeding possibilities that intrigue me with favas...

1- selecting for more winter hardy strains. (I have had plants survive the winter in usda zone 5, but they then succumbed in early spring). I am able to plant favas in November, and they send out a tiny root in the fall, and sprout in the spring when they are ready. This fall, I planted favas every couple of weeks, so some went into winter as small plants, some went into winter as barely emerging, and some went into winter as seeds. My goal is to select for more cold tolerance.

2- I could put effort into selecting for strains that could thrive when transplanted in early March. That's give them a month headstart on the growing season.

3- I could select for strains that could be planted mid-summer, and that would produce pods/seeds for fall harvest.

4- Sometimes, after the spring planted favas have produced beans, they re-sprout vigorously from the base of the plant. I have often thought that selection for that trait might be worthwhile.

5- Selecting for productivity (pounds per square foot)

6- Every once in a while, I see a seed with eye-popping color. I haven't been selecting for those traits, but it could be done.

7- Like with every crop I grow, I am inadvertently selecting for ability to out-compete weeds, and to grow in a super low-humidity environment, in full desert high-altitude sunlight.

Anyone who wants to OSSI-pledge a derivative of my fava bean landrace wouldn't receive any objection from me, just give it a different name.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Doro on 2018-12-18, 01:53:41 PM
Fava beans are great for flock breeding. I'm surprised there are not more people experimenting with them.

My project has the goal of not too tall plants with side shoots from the base, large seed and colourful flowers. Since I eat what I grow, I'll select for good taste and texture.
I can't decide on a specific flower colour. Pink, purple or crimson is all pretty, so I'll just see what happens.

Sadly my second generation plants died in the heatwave this summer. First time ever that favas failed for me. But the flowers and plants looked promising, so I'll definitely continue the project.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Diane Whitehead on 2018-12-18, 05:09:42 PM
One year I had a French friend try the 7 kinds of favas I was growing.  He then wrote me his evaluation of them.

Best to eat raw:
1. Red Epicure (slightly sweet, nice and crunchy, thick skin)
2. Ianto's Return  (soft, sweet, juicy)
3. Stereo (good taste, crunchy but tender.  also nice for stir fry)

For cooking:
Swiss. (tough skin, juicy tender flesh, good for stir fry or soup)
Jubilee Hysor ( soft, dry)
Copper (tough.  rough skin  slightly bitter. good for soup)
small Iluman from Ecuador (hard dry  good for soup)

I don't eat them raw and was surprised that he did.  He is quite obviously not one of the Mediterranean men who suffer from favism - a severe anemia caused by people eating favas if they lack glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Raymondo on 2018-12-18, 08:51:27 PM
My main interest would be large seed for storage. I enjoy them as a dry bean but not so much fresh. Winter hardiness would be another good feature. I like to sow them towards the end of autumn so they take off quickly as soon as warmer spring weather hits.
Now that I’ve seen Doro’s lovely flower colours that would be another great feature.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Diane Whitehead on 2018-12-18, 09:21:20 PM
I've never tried eating dried ones, just fresh shelled ones.

Stereo and The Sutton are reputed to be good eaten as young pods, just like green beans.  I haven't tried that.

I should read the packages before I sow seeds.  I have  11 kinds growing, sown in October, as usual.  I've just discovered that two kinds, Perla (gourmet flavour) and Karmazyn (carmine-pink seeds) are to be picked in July and August, and should be sown in the spring.  Well, too late.  I guess I could sow more in the spring, but that would use garden space I'd prefer to be growing green beans and tomatoes.

Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Doro on 2018-12-19, 02:08:18 AM
I had heard that they are eaten raw when small in some countries, even the whole pod, but I haven't tried that yet.
I plant mine as soon as the soil thaws and harvest once in fall. All what is mature is getting dried for seeds or later eating, all what's not quite mature is shelled and frozen, steamed in butter or used in stir fry style of cooking. The dried ones get used in stews mostly. For those purposes I like white or green seed colours best.

The coloured flowers in my project came from the UK heirloom Crimson flowered. It looks lovely and the pollinators like it more than my white flowered varieties. With pollinators getting less, I think it's good to have flowers they really like.
But Crimson Flowered went through a severe bottleneck when it was saved from going extinct. It is not a really high producer and seeds are smaller than I'd like them to be. But when crossed with Rönnäs (Swedish heirloom) I really got promising results of sturdy healthy plants and increased seed size.
Tannins did not get too bad with the coloured flowers but I'll have to keep an eye on that in the next generations.

Something which might be interesting to know is that Favas were often grown with potatoes in Sweden. Back in the time when things were not harvested by using heavy machinery.
I plant my rows with 1 potato, 2 fava, 1 potato and so on. Which used to work great here.
However I will probably have to stop doing that. If the weather continues to become more dry. The potatoes utilize the moisture far better and the favas dry out. They will get their own space next year, just to avoid the disaster of this season.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-19, 08:38:31 AM
Various types of favas.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: William S. on 2018-12-19, 09:06:18 AM
Various types of favas.

Those pigeon beans are neat- almost round. I have the other two types in my population. The horse beans from your land race only.

A couple years ago everyone wanted fingerprint favas, but no one seems to be selling the seeds. Hopefully someone somewhere is increasing them.

Another thought on favas breeding is just to try to introduce new traits into a grex by getting packets of additional interesting types with specific traits like earliness.  I'm not sure what else to look for though. I looked with interest through the varieties offered at that prairie garden seeds and they said they had some early ones. Though mine seem early enough- that was the main trait of "Early Windsor". Haven't found any yet that say they are winter hardy in continental climates or anything.

A fellow from the local ag folks came out to look at a pollinator mix they had provided free in 2017. WhIle showing him around we looked at my fava patch. He said that favas might make a good cover crop but wouldn't fit through most seed drills. I showed him some horse beans and he thought they might work. Pigeon peas might work better than horse beans. That could be one route to explore breeding- smallest seeds one can find. Territorial seed has always had some horse bean type cover crop types for sale in their catalogue.

https://zellajakefarmandgarden.com/products/small-fava-bean-sprouting-microgreen-seeds-by-zellajake-many-sizes-crunchy-283c?variant=17049344868411

Here is someone selling really little ones for sprouting.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Ocimum on 2018-12-19, 09:52:47 AM
Hi,

another interesting trait in fava beans is the "popping" trait. In South America, you can buy popped favas as a snack, similar to what Carol Deppe describes with Cicer. I have no idea how widespread it is among the species, would be quite interesting to check it out. I really liked them popped as snack.

Best
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2018-12-19, 11:47:50 AM

I tried popping favas today, the same as popcorn. I'll call it an epic fail. They scorched, and came out as hard as they went in.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Diane Whitehead on 2018-12-19, 04:00:18 PM
I think popcorn can be too dry to pop, and probably favas can be, too.  I'll put some of mine in a jar with a wee bit of water for a while and then try.

====================

Would make good paving stones.  I'll try again tomorrow.

I wonder if the commercial popped ones are popped when they have just ripened, so they would still be naturally a bit moist.  I'll also try popping new ones next spring.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Carol Deppe on 2018-12-21, 06:06:34 PM
Hi,

another interesting trait in fava beans is the "popping" trait. In South America, you can buy popped favas as a snack, similar to what Carol Deppe describes with Cicer. I have no idea how widespread it is among the species, would be quite interesting to check it out. I really liked them popped as snack.

Best
My understanding is the commercial popped favas are first cooked, and then processed. Not the same thing at all as the popping Cicer (chickpeas).
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Carol Deppe on 2018-12-21, 06:16:08 PM
Another interesting trait in favas (and other legumes) is that the skin of some varieties is loose. It really isn't attached to the seed underneath. When that's the case, you may be able to run the beans through a hand grinder set very wide so that it essentially splits the seed and knocks the skin off. Then the skins can be easily blown away. This is especially workable if the seed is round. Split peas and garbanzo "dal" are seeds of that type.

Diane is a fava variety that is small, round, and has a lose skin. It's usually used as a cover crop. but I'm wondering whether it might not make a great "dal" variety.

With favas, this lose skin character might be especially important, because most fava varieties have very thick tough unpalatable skins--too thick and unpalatable for them to be useful as dry beans, for example. The skins often taste bad as dry beans too. So getting rid of the skins could be especially useful.

Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Raymondo on 2018-12-22, 02:16:44 AM
Another interesting trait in favas (and other legumes) is that the skin of some varieties is loose. It really isn't attached to the seed underneath. When that's the case, you may be able to run the beans through a hand grinder set very wide so that it essentially splits the seed and knocks the skin off. Then the skins can be easily blown away. This is especially workable if the seed is round. Split peas and garbanzo "dal" are seeds of that type.
...

I use dry broad beans reasonably often. I deal with skins by sprouting the seeds first then popping them out of their skins. It’s a little tedious. I’m going to look round for some loose skinned cultivars!
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Richard Watson on 2018-12-22, 11:45:11 AM
I use dry broad beans reasonably often. I deal with skins by sprouting the seeds first then popping them out of their skins. It’s a little tedious. I’m going to look round for some loose skinned cultivars!

So how do you prepare them after that Ray
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Raymondo on 2018-12-22, 10:34:58 PM
So how do you prepare them after that Ray

Once the skins are gone I cook the beans. They then might end up in a stew, or just mashed with some oil, garlic and a few spices, similar to hummus.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Ilex on 2019-04-22, 04:09:46 PM
My son has a fava bean breeding project.

I had a landrace, and he selected a crossed plant that tasted really good (raw).  From there, he selects those that grow well and produce well.  Then tries (raw) all plants, and keeps the best tasting.  Secondary selection trait is number of seeds per pod.  We started with 3, and now most are 5 seeds per pod.

I have a machine to peel fava beans, so more seeds per pods means peeling is faster.

We don't have time to do selection cooked, but taste is superb so far.

I didn't continue with my landrace after selling some to a restaurant.  They complained that they were difficult to cook, as they had different cooking times.  Some cooked fast while others were undercooked. 
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Steve1 on 2019-04-22, 06:24:50 PM
Another trait worth looking out for is this thin skin trait. No need to peel. Like Ray I tend to use favas dry and make ful medame which is a traditional middle eastern dip served with fresh still warm flat bread.
Egyptian is the variety I mostly grow for this and also has the thin skin trait.
My kids believe it or not love raw frozen favas and peas.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Diane Whitehead on 2019-04-22, 06:40:40 PM
Do they eat them while they are still frozen?

My favas are in bloom, or at least, the ones in my home garden are.  The ones in the allotment, the "gourmet" ones, Red Epicure, Perla and Karmazyn, were totally eaten by something in March while I was travelling - perhaps by rabbits - not a scrap of anything left to show there had been lots of plants all winter.

So maybe I will try re-sowing Perla and Karmazyn now, as instructed by the packet.  I've never sown favas in spring before.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Ilex on 2019-04-23, 01:27:12 AM
In Spain, fava beans are eaten quite tender. If eaten bigger, skin selection will be important.


For dry usage, I would think seeds per pods won't matter.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Doro on 2019-04-23, 01:28:51 AM
I had planted my last spare F2 seed early in pots in the greenhouse, they are up already and moved outside. But I need to widen the genetic base of this cross after loosing the big batch of F2 last summer.
So since my soil is finally thawing, well at least in some areas of the garden. I sowed the parent lines (Rönnäs and Crimson Flowered) side by side, to produce more F1 seed. There might even pop up some F1 in the Crimson Flowered line already, it is the old original seed batch where I had the first crosses appear.
Fingers crossed that we are not going into a hot and dry summer again. To be a little more safe I'm not interplanting them with the potatoes, they got their own little garden bed this year. If I have to I'll actually water the broad beans this year lol
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Steve1 on 2019-04-23, 06:12:19 AM
Do they eat them while they are still frozen?


Oh yes, frozen solid. They aren't bad actually. Had to try them myself just to see. The flavors are less pronounced but nonetheless still broad beany.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Kai Duby on 2019-04-29, 09:26:56 PM
I really like the idea of winter planting favas and having them come up first thing in the spring because no matter how early I plant them in the spring they don't seem to want to come up until nearly a month later and by that time the heat is getting cranked up for summer.
 Joseph When you plant in November do you irrigate them at all/ stick them in wet ground and how early do you irrigate them in the spring?

I recently found a feral fava that must have come from a patch of small seeded types I grew last year. It is already a good 2 weeks ahead of the favas I planted.

Another trait that I'd like to select for is wind resistance. Right now as the little favas are poking their heads up there is a consistent 15-20mph wind blowing likely until mid-May. Last year they really didn't like that. They take the cold but the wind was scorching the leaves pretty bad so I hope to find some that will stand up to that kind of abuse.  Have a local variety now that's been grown in this area for nearly a century so I'm hoping it can add a bit of eolian toughness. 
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Kai Duby on 2019-04-30, 08:13:15 AM
I forgot to mention another trait that I think is very interesting in favas: insects! And I'm not just talking about beneficial pollinators.

Next to sunflowers the favas certainly attracted the next best slew of bugs. The first year I grew them I noticed a ton of ant activity all over them. When I looked closer I noticed that the ants were congregating around these perfect round spots near the base of the leaves. From what it looked like they were licking these spots pretty adamantly! The spots were on just about the exact same place on the leaves wherever they occurred, which makes me think that it is something the plant creates to attract things like ants. Likely a sugary secretion. At first I wondered if the ants might be cultivating some kind of fungus but, when I looked at the population as a whole, the plants with the black spots and ants were MUCH more vigorous than the others. In fact, until that point I was wondering why some of the plants were looking like they were about to drop dead. Turns out that all of the near-death plants that I observed lacked the black spots. This was Josephs fava mix by the way.

I suspect that attracting insects for foliar inoculation may be a great trait to select for. Insects traveling from one plant to another are bound to transfer beneficial microbes (and I suppose in bad cases disease organisms), which from what I've been reading about things like endophytic diazatrophs(leaf inhabiting nitrogen fixers) and other similar organisms, may be a key component of healthy plants.
Add to that that little ants devouring delicious leaf excretions are probably more likely to fight for the health of their plant when invaders come around.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Joseph Lofthouse on 2019-04-30, 09:51:26 AM

The most reliable fall planted favas for me are those that I plant the day before winter snowcover is expected.  This spring, about 15% of the plants survived that were planted about two weeks earlier than that. In general, small plants tend to winterkill for me.

I only irrigate during June, July, and August. Some years as late as mid-September. Anything grown during the rest of the year depends on rainfall or soil moisture.

I do not irrigate fall planted favas until June. By then, both the fall planted and the spring planted favas are already flowering. Sometimes, I have planted small fava plants as soon as the snow melts. Sometimes I pre-sprout the fava seeds, and plant them a couple days later with radicles already emerged.

My fields are all wide open with no shade. One thing that might be interesting to explore is planting favas in partial shade. Perhaps the cooler temperatures would help them be more productive in the desert. 
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Kai Duby on 2019-05-10, 01:13:10 PM
Barely out of the ground and the little black ants are all over them. They seem to travel along the leaf margin and periodically dip under the leaves.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Kai Duby on 2019-05-10, 01:16:59 PM
Joseph My field is all wide open as well. Last year I experimented with interplanting big sunflowers between the fava rows and it seemed that it helped some. I'm trying the same thing this year with sunflower every 2-3ft. between the favas. They tend to get big and start really shading the ground around the time the favas are flowering.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: Olaf Nurlif on 2019-05-10, 02:36:13 PM
I think popcorn can be too dry to pop, and probably favas can be, too.  I'll put some of mine in a jar with a wee bit of water for a while and then try.

Popcorn (usually?) has the best "expansion" rate at ca 13,5% seed moisture content.
If it's higher than that the water in the seed will expand too fast and the pericarp will split before enough pressure is built up in the seed.
If it's lower than that there's simply not enough water in the seed to build up enogh pressure and it will not pop or taste rather hard/chewy.

You would have to put the seeds in an environment with about 65% relative humidity for about 1-2 weeks to get it that wet.
In our conditions corn seed usually dries to under 10% seed moisture content. That's nice for mid term seed storage but bad for popping.

Of course you can also calculate/estimate the seed moisture content and then calculate the amount of water needed to get a certain amount of corn seeds to 13-14% seed moisture content. Just use a sealed container as you already mentioned.


Has anybody testet if popping quality of Cicer/Hannan Popbean and/or Nunas is better at a certain seed moisture level?
I have to admit that I am having big trouble getting our Hannan Popbeans to "pop" properly and consistently...
A bag of them is waiting for a small experiment but I will only be able to do that next winter.

Edit: Sorry, I just realised there are some papers available about popping chickpeas because it is common in India and other countries..
i.e. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643815300104
I will read a bit and maybe report back!
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: gmuller on 2019-05-14, 10:42:01 PM
I threw in some favas in a mixed plot a few years ago, since nothing else was around to play with in winter. I let them cross, replanted in a non-irrigated plot , and picked the survivors. They are growing at the moment, but since I'm leaving this house in a month, i will have to replant at the new house.
Selection objectives for me would be - disease resistance, resistance to lodging, flavour, flower color, seeds per pod.
Since I primarily eat the green seeds, which usually require double shelling (Blanch the green seeds, refresh in cold water, then slip off the tough outer skin to reveal emerald green deliciousness !)finding a very thin skinned variety at the green seed stage would be great. I've tried the very young pods cooked whole, but find them way too fibrous to be enjoyable. A low fiber young pod would be great too. A couple of plants from one of my random growouts had shiny pods - I didn't eat them, but they might have a more attractive mouth feel in the whole-cooked-pod scenario.
Lots of colorful flowers just add joy to the garden - I intend to mix up the red-flowered, the chocolate flowered, and the white flowered to see what happens. As a money crop, a colleague of mine supplies coloured bud and flower tips in punnets to top end restaurants as garnish - just a thought for an alternate use/breeding target might be a particularly floriferous line in multi colours with flowers with a long shelf life.
Can't wait to move to my new garden.
GM
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-02-20, 05:14:58 PM
So its February 20th and I just planted my fava bean grex which I am thinking of now as Montana Rainbow Fava in the bases of three old sawdust and bark piles on February 20th. Mowed, rototilled, then scattered a bag of the 2018 harvest on each and rototilled it in. Saved a bag for later replanting if needed.

I didn't plant any favas in 2019 because I left about half of the 2018 seed production on the plants. Volunteers existed, fall volunteers died over winter. However some seeds managed to wait till an appropriate time and I got 3 or 4 plants. All mid sized boring and tan colored. Wonder of they are hard seeded. Got about 20 seeds or so for my troubles. If a volunteer strain is possible it's an extreme selection process for sure.

Bought three new kinds from Siskiyou seeds an Andean mix a brown speckled, and a fingerprint fava. Plan to add them in but didn't plant them today. Probably will plant a special patch of them with the 2019 volunteers in March at the usual time.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-03-06, 06:55:32 PM
It's open burning season in my county! No permit needed to burn till the end of April. So I burned my accumulated brush pile and planted some more fava beans in the resulting ash, charcoal, and mud as I put it out with the hose. Well is working fine because of the dry spring. It tends to flood and need a new part in wet springs. So was able to use the hose.

Will go back out and plant more favas in a day or two. Got tired of poking them in.
Title: Re: Fava breeding
Post by: William S. on 2020-03-08, 05:46:14 PM
Planted the rest of my fava seed today March 8th. Might have a couple saved seeds left somewhere but the four grocery bags are all in the ground.

Also managed to till up the fenced garden today as the soil tilt was good. Found one errant purple fava seed while doing so proving that the rodents still translocate my seeds on occassion.