I am totally enamored of our favas. They don't get much of a mention in the vegetable literature, but they are quite a plant. The growth is incredibly vigorous, producing plants upwards of 36 inches tall with a profusion of pointy, grayish-green leaves. The mature plants have a pleasingly complex, architectural quality that makes them a standout in the garden.
Favas don't like the heat. I planted an entire seed pack--50 seeds--in a small patch on March 4. I suppose I could have planted them earlier. I worry that as temperatures climb into the 80s here in the District of Columbia the plants will poop out on me. But so far they are soldiering on with no sign of stress or disease. And the production of fruit is impressive--there are pods everywhere you look.
This is what the baby favas look like this morning. They have a pillowy nest inside their pods. As they mature, they will develop a tough casing around the fruit. At this stage, they can be eaten, but I don't recommend it. The little ones don't have the sweetness of mature favas and leave and astringent bitterness on the tongue.
Favas are so easy to grow and so productive. If you have trouble growing peas in our area, try favas.