Broad Bean Shoots
One of the fastest and tastiest crops to grow is broad bean shoots. They’re super easy and have a delicious fresh bean taste that goes well fresh in salads, or add them at the last minute to risottos and stir fries – yum!
You can use any dried broad beans, but the cheapest alternative is to use dried beans which are sold for cooking. If you do not find them in your supermarket, look for them in stores that specialise in Middle Eastern foods or online. It is worth looking for them because a £2 bag can keep you growing for a very long time! They may be called Whole Fava beans, Whole broad beans or Ful Medames.
Choose a container with drain holes at least 5cm deep (see below regarding a second harvest) and fill it with compost. You can soak the beans for 24hrs but it is not necessary as they will germinate well regardless. Sow the beans close together but leave a gap the size of a bean in between them. Cover the seeds with 0.5cm of compost, press down lightly so that the beans get good contact with the soil and then water. Room temperature is ideal.
All you have to do is keep the compost moist. Nothing else!
Depending on how warm it is, they will take 2-6 weeks to be ready. Harvest when the shoots are 6-12 cm tall by pinching or cutting with scissors just above the bottom leaf. By leaving the bottom leaves they will often regrow once. You’re more likely to get a second harvest if your container is deeper and contains nutritious compost. However, a second harvest is generally not as good as the first.
Do not overwater, especially if it’s cold as it will make the seeds rot.
They grow very fast! If you have missed the ideal harvest time and they have gone slightly stringy, then make a pesto! It is delicious.
Any broad beans can be used but dried supermarket ones are by far the best value.