Fava beans are best served raw, tossed in good olive oil, black pepper and grated romano. They can be eaten whole as long as the outside skin has not grown tough enough to require removal. Pick pods once they reach 3-4″ maximum. To get them at this early stage will require growing the beans yourself, since most farmers wait to pick them until the beans have gotten at least 5-6″ long.
To grow fava beans, plant seeds in the fall and over winter the crop for spring. This works for any region where the winters are somewhat mild. The plants can withstand a couple heavy snow storms as long as it does not last more than a couple weeks at a time. If winter is colder, the plants can be covered with a simple tarp and cage system to protect them. The plants will flower in early spring and it is imperative that they are pollenated before the average temperature is above 80 degrees. If it gets to hot the bean pods will not set. The plants grow about 6′ tall so they will need to be tied back and supported to keep them from falling over once the weight of the beans sets.