When to harvest fava beans and honeyberries?

(Minnesota, Zone 3) This my first try at fava beans and the pods are big but when I gently squeeze one it seems to be filled with air! And this is the first year my honeyberries—also known as haskap—are productive and protected in a screened “crop cage.” The berries are blue. How long do I wait before harvesting them?

I know less than nothing about your local circumstances and the local weather. If you’ve got fava (I think they are what we in the UK call broad beans) that are empty, there may be other conditions but have you had a very dry weather? If conditions have been very dry, poss’ a regime of consistent watering may well swell them.
If not, I’m at a loss. Sorry to be of so little help.
Mine are quite late and have flowered brilliantly but I await the pods and the beans that I hope from them.
Others will have to assist re honeyberries - haven’t got a clue. Sorry.
Every good wish across the pond.

Honeyberry in the US is possibly what we call Baies du mai in France, Lonicera caerulea, or blue honeysuckle. I harvest mine from late May to late June, depending on the weather. A bit like blackcurrants, you just have to keep tasting evety three or four days until they have turned from tart to sweet. I’ve never had problems with birds taking mine, so have never bothered with a fuit cage for any of my fruit. Probably should for the cherry trees, every year the birds get in one day before me…
As for the broad beans (called feve here), it could be a mix of poor pollination plus lack of water meaning you have lovely, fluffy sleeping bags full of nothing. Open one up and check inside. Better to harvest them too early than too late.
Good luck with them both.

Thank you for your reply. We are in a colder climate than you so most of the berries are just turning blue now and still very tart. I will keep tasting them. Probably the same issue with the fava beans that I’m just too anxious for them to be ripe right now! Here in Minnesota we go from frost at the end of May to 90 F in the middle of June. Spring whips by us so fast!

I have just picked my first fava beans and I am in the UK but the zone I am nearest too is zone 5. If you feel the pods and the beans feel a little loose in them and move around a bit then they are ready to pick…

1 Like

Thank you, SusieH. That idea of “loose” in the pod is very helpful information for a first-time fava grower. I opened two pods today, one with four lovely beans and one that had two beans and two tiny undeveloped seed-looking things. Plenty of water, maybe not enough sun from being too closely planted. It’s all a grand experiment!

It is a grand experiment and at the same time you are getting lots of fresh air and exercise, nothing like gardening especially in such weird times…

HI raymart, I don’t know how close you plant your favas, but my husband knows all about them, having grown up growing and eating them (his family is Sicilian). He plants 3 beans to a hole, and about 18 inches apart. Favas do like cool weather though; they don’t produce well in the heat, we’ve found. Also they actually don’t mind part shade.