Fava Fava Fava

Fava bean mania has descended upon the Homegrown Evolution compound this spring. I can’t say enough good things about fava beans (Vicia fava): they taste good, the plant fixes nitrogen into the soil, making it an ideal cover crop, and it’s attractive. If harvested small you can eat fava raw but I prefer to remove the skins and briefly boil the seeds (around five minutes). Once boiled, fava can be used in a variety of dishes from soup...

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A Mystery Philippine Vegetable

...den. I nattered on about reclaiming wasted space, staying in touch with nature, the value of homegrown food, dodging the authorities and knowing where your carrots come from. I harvested for the camera, an unimpressive string bean and two small cucumbers. On a whim, I suggested that we visit the parkway garden that inspired us to plant our own. Just two blocks away, this parkway garden is the handiwork of a retired couple from the Philippines. As...

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The Three Sisters

...bors has planted her own parkway vegetable garden just down the street. Since it was so late (July) we decided to cultivate heat tolerant vegetables and upped the ante by planting the Native American three sisters–corn, beans and squash. The three sisters are textbook permaculture, the idea being that the beans nitrogenate the soil and climb up the corn while the squash provides mulch. All plants are useful and you end up with an interdepen...

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Cooling with Beer . . . Cans

...hinking of doing something similar on the hot south side of our house, except with deciduous vines. That way, we’ll let light in during the winter and have a living shade wall during the summer. Perhaps we’ll grow beans and become Los Angeles’ Bean House. The Beer can house is located at 222 Malone Street in Houston, Texas and is lovingly cared for by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art ....

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Supper for a buck?

...r a fresh loaf like this at an artisinal bakery. It’s even cheaper than crappy supermarket bread. That same night–the night of the question and the math–we had a simple meal:  a loaf of this bread, a bowl of beans and a salad from the garden. It was really good and satisfying, and I realized, also very cheap. Dried beans run about $1.50 a pound where we shop. One pound of dry beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans. That’...

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