Author Topic: Fava breeding  (Read 461 times)

William S.

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Fava breeding
« 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.



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Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #1 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.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-18, 02:25:13 PM by Joseph Lofthouse »

Doro

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #2 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.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-18, 09:00:52 PM by Diane Whitehead »
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Raymondo

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #4 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.
Ray
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Diane Whitehead

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #5 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.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Doro

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #6 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.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #7 on: 2018-12-19, 08:38:31 AM »
Various types of favas.

William S.

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-19, 09:33:03 AM by William S. »
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Ocimum

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #9 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

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #10 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.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: 2018-12-20, 04:23:26 PM by Diane Whitehead »
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Carol Deppe

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #12 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).

Carol Deppe

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #13 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.


Raymondo

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Re: Fava breeding
« Reply #14 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!
Ray
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