Closer view of Crimson Flowers starting to bloom
Carrots sprouting behind.
Closer view of the blossoms opening.
The stems have a red tint also.
Favas are self-pollinating but seemingly irresistible to bees, especially bumble bees, so it is necessary to use some isolation techniques for seed saving purposes. The recommended isolation distance is one mile. I'm growing 2 varieties this year so I am alternately covering the 2 different varieties with row cover to keep them from crossing. I could probably keep one variety under cover and one exposed, but I like to uncover them to allow them full exposure to the sun.
For seed saving purposes or to harvest dried beans, the plants must be allowed to die and turn black. The pods will also start to turn black and start to dry, but they can be harvested before fully dry and brought inside to finish drying before shelling
This is still a very rare variety and difficult to find, although there are 4 members of the Seed Savers Exchange offering seeds in the 2009 yearbook. I also found one Canadian seed company that is offering 10 seeds for $4.95 (Canadian), yikes 50 cents a seed! Perhaps a more thorough internet search would lead to more sources, but I think I'll save my own.