Bell Beans (Small Favas)
Edible nitrogen-fixing cover crop. Generally planted together with wheat/rye, mustard, vetch. Earliest-flowering cover crop, providing nectar for pollinators very early in spring or late winter. They can grow to 5 or 6 feet in perfect conditions. Late plantings are more likely to stay at 3' or so. Best yield of biomass and nitrogen if sown early to mid fall. However, they will sprout and grow in soil that is 45 degrees, so can be sown fairly late in mild-winter areas. Stronger flavor than large favas, but a staple dry bean around the Mediterranean.
Bell Beans are hardy to 26 degrees. In colder-winter areas, they can be sown early to grow lush, then freeze out and provide a mulch, which can be planted into in spring without further soil prep if desired. 100 seeds. Sows 100 sq ft when used with wheat or another cover crop. In mild-winter areas, they may be cut or tilled in at first bloom for maximum soil nitrogen, or left to mature a crop of beans, which are a staple food in Egypt and elsewhere around the Mediterranean.
There is a very rare genetic condition which makes people get very sick from favas. If you have never tried them before, eat a small portion of cooked beans the first time.