No garden is complete without these easy to grow and prolific garden vegetables. I love the pole sorts best climbing on my bamboo teepees and fences. These members of the legume family also have the added benefit of the ability to enrich the soil.
The joy of fresh sweet garden peas is my favorite longed for treat of the entire gardening year. Thomas Jefferson's favorite vegetable was the pea, and he had a long running contest with his other farming neighbors for the first peas of the season. The contest started in 1757 and went on nearly every year into the early 1800's. Despite growing over 30 or more types of peas, he lost the contest each and every year! The fabulous purple colored Blue Capucijner peas are on my website banner on every page, and are my personal favorites for beauty. Plus you never have to wait too long to enjoy the first beans or fresh sweet limas of the season, as well.
I wish to thank my friend Cliff, who has a large ranch in the Northwest. He has helped me to increase the amounts of my unusual and rare beans that I offer for sale. He grows many of my own beans on his ranch using sustainable methods. His help allows me to provide extra rare and nearly extinct bean seed to my fellow gardeners. I also grow the very same rare bean varieties simultaneously in Amishland, but due to limited space, in smaller quantities.
All seed packs are $2.50 each
CLICK ON EACH SMALL PHOTO TO SEE A MUCH LARGER VERSION OF THAT PHOTO - USE "BACK BUTTON" TO COME BACK TO THIS PAGE.
*NEW FOR 2014* ~ BITTICK FAMILY RIO ZAPE POLE BEAN~ Rare dual purpose pole bean~ My "beany" friend Cliff grew this out for me on his farm in the Pacific Northwest. Cliff takes bean growing and history very seriously. This detailed history is what he had to say about this bean: "In fruit & vegetable trade language, the base color of a bean seed is called the Ground Color, additional color is called the secondary color. The ground color of Rio Zape beans varies according to the soil in which the bean was grown. So seed can be brown, light brown, buff, creamy white, chalk white. The secondary color on the bean seed is purple blue, which can be in the form of stripes, splashes, streaks over the base ground color. This variety is different from the "light brown zebra bean," which has brown streaks & stripes.
"Growth habit, 6-12 foot trellis, ratio of 1:2 beans to foliage. Pod starts out green, with faint purple streaks, streaks darken to very visible, at snap bean stage. When left for shelly or dried beans, the purple streaks diffuse, pod turns a reddish purple over the green GROUND COLOR, as shown in the picture. (totally different color than the pink tips i.e. Homer Nelsons which are pinkish red) Doc Martin is credited with the title ZEBRA BEANS, different, as opposed to Horticultural (mottled cranberry, wren's egg, etc.), as the Hort beans tend to be shelly, & dry beans with an uneatable pod. The BITTICK FAMILY BEAN, is very good in the snap bean stage, pod is not tough & woody. Bittick family resided in St. Louis, Missouri area, early 1900s, bean is thought to have come from southwest usa native americans,
but could be a european descendent of Weinlanderin, or Landfrauen." (also see these 2 rare pole beans on this bean page) 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
*NEW FOR 2014* ~ BEN JUDD'S 'GRANNY MESSENGER'S SULFUR POLE BEAN' ~TENNESSEE HEIRLOOM!~ Here is another great old time bean from the late Ben Judd, of Sparta, Tennessee. I grew these out a few years back and decided I needed my "Beany" friend Cliff's help to save these old time heirloom beans for posterity. Here is what Cliff had to say about them: "5-7 FOOT TRELLIS, 1-4 ratio beans to foliage, 100 days, white flower, beans straw yellow, sulfur yellow, dark brown yellow. Sets first pods near the ground, hook on end of pod, 3/4 circle hook. Course pod, probably shelly or dried bean."
"Nearly all US yellow seeded beans are bush beans, first yellow seeded pole bean I have encountered. Speculate Messenger's is a true FRENCH bean from France (Vegetable Garden--Vilmorin-Andrieux, page 62) Lineage may trace back (1885) to the CLIMBING YELLOW or DUNES YELLOW KIDNEY BEAN. Other yellow France Bean was a bush bean YELLOW HUNDREDFOLD KIDNEY BEAN, cultivated in Eastern France, where it was often grown in the vineyards with the grapes. Climbing yellow might have been a sport from yellow hundredfold, as the grape vines would have provided a trellis for climbing. Ben Judd's only comment on this bean was that is a favorite of bean eating beetles." VERY LIMITED SUPPLY FOR 2014 -ORDER EARLY! 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds
*NEW FOR 2014* ~BEN JUDD'S 'MRS. CLARKS SHORT CUT POLE BEAN'~ ONLY SOURCE!Here is a great old time bean from late Ben Judd, of Sparta, Tennessee. I grew these out a few years back and decided I needed my "Beany" friend Cliff's help to save these old time heirloom beans for posterity. Here is what Cliff had to say about them: "actually a cut short bean. Not a play on words, or a turn around of the words, Mr. Judd's note said: "A SHORT BEAN, BUT A HEAVY BEARER" -5 foot trellis, white blossom, 1:3 beans to foliage ration. 80 days, bears heavy during hot summer heat. Tennessee Heirloom bean worth saving." You won't find this bean anywhere anywhere else. LIMITED SUPPLY- ORDER EARLY! 10 fresh sustainably grown beans.
*NEW FOR 2014* ~GRANDMA DELLA'S CORNFIELD CUT-SHORT BEAN~ VERY RARE FAMILY HEIRLOOM POLE BEAN- ONLY SOURCE! ~I received my original beans from Marie Icenberg of Rochester, Indiana. I gave these to my friend Cliff to grow and save for posterity. Here is what Cliff had to say about them: "pole, white seed, 5-6 foot trellis. A type of fall bean, 120 days before bearing pods, start producing pods late August-September. A shelly/dry bean, commonly of the type called "leather breeches" in Appalachia, as they were strung on a string to dry in late fall on the back porch. These are similar to Old Joe Clark Bean. Beans will NOT dry on vine. Beans out grow the pod, are crowded in pod, shape of bean varies from round to slightly square." Hence, the Cut-short name. VERY LIMITED SUPPLY- ORDER EARLY! 10 fresh sustainably grown beans.
*NEW FOR 2014* ~PAINTED LADY/HAMMOND'S RUNNER BEAN MIX ~ These runner beans were grown for me by my farming friend Cliff who lives in the pacific northwest. Here is what Cliff has to say about these: "HAMMOND'S is a lower growing, scarlet flowered runner bean, grows up to four or five feet tall. The PAINTED LADY is taller, 6-8 feet. (For a more detailed description of Painted Lady Runner Bean please look further down on this page.) In this mix, you have scarlet flowers in the middle to bottom of the plant, and the orange white flowers from the middle to the top. Creates a stunning floral display." A mix of 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds
*NEW FOR 2014* ~CHINESE RED NOODLE YARD LONG BEAN~
This may just be the silliest name for a fabulous new to the west, ethnic Chinese vegetable. As you can easily see in the photo, that is exactly what this yard long bean looks like.
This is the most beautiful and unique bean. Fabulous deep red 18-20 inch pods are oh so delicious, are full of nutrition, and they even keep their cool red color when steamed, stir-fried or sauteed
(but they are best if not boiled). These extra long vines will keep going all summer. And they are impervious to difficult growing conditions.They survived weeks of over 100 degree weather and drought with aplomb. This fun to grow bean will entrance all who see it in garden. Kids adore them! Also wildly popular for market selling.
These beans were grown for me by my farming friend Cliff who lives in the pacific northwest. Here is what Cliff has to say about these (and he is also referring to the other 2 yard long beans he grew out for me this season. So be sure to look for them as well.): "Earliest producer of long red noodle beans. Set beans before Liana, Chinese Red seeded, and Japanese Extra Long, at about 55 days. Bears all season long, but heaviest production is in mid-summer. 18-20 inch long pods." 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds (which are amazingly small considering how long the bean grows in size!)
*NEW FOR 2014* ~BLUE SPECKLED TEPARY BEAN~ (Phaseolus acutifolius, var. latifolius) RARE Click here for more detailed information from Wikipedia This rare legume was grown for me by my friend Cliff, who has a small acreage farm in the Pacific Northwest. Cliff has this to say about it: "Small bush, low growing, does best with irrigation, needs a hot, dry climate. Originally from Mexico, SW USA desert. In the Bean Bible by Aliza Green, she says 'adapted to desert conditions. quick growing with long roots that reach for moisture...grown in Arizona desert by native Americans, because of its ability to produce a quick, high protein crop.'" Cliff goes on to say: "Pods will shatter (open up on their own) if left hanging too long. Seed color, brown to buff to white with light blue speckles."
PLEASE NOTE: This is a very drought tolerant bean that needs sustained high temperatures to grow. I do not recommend these for any other type of climate. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
*NEW FOR 2014* ~CHINESE RED SEEDED YARD LONG BEAN ~ These beans were grown for me by my farming friend Cliff who lives in the pacific northwest. Here is what Cliff has to say about these: " 20-24 inch pods, sets beans heaviest in the early to mid-season, but bears thru out the whole season. Nice tasty bean pod." 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds ( which are amazingly small considering how long the bean grows in size!)
*NEW FOR 2014*~ JAPANESE EXTRA LONG YARD LONG BEAN ~ These beans were grown for me by my farming friend Cliff who lives in the pacific northwest. Here is what Cliff has to say about these: " Long season, bears heaviest from late summer to fall, pods 24-36 inches long with a black tip on the end of the pod." 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds (which are amazingly small considering how long the bean grows in size!)
*BACK FOR 2014* LIANA YARD LONG BEAN~ Old Market Favorite- Hard to Find- Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis. My wonderful "beany" friend Cliff out west has been growing these yard long (aka asparagus bean, bora, long-podded cowpea, snake bean, or Chinese long bean), for some time now. Cliff says they love the heat but Liana also can take more cold than this species usually wants. It is considered day neutral so that means in the south they can be planted early for selling at market, or later for a fall harvest. Cliff does these a bit later in season for one harvest. This is not a true bean as it is in the cowpea family and grown to be eaten in the pod stage. They don't actually grow a yard long, actually half that at 1-1/2 feet, and that is what the subspecies name sesquipedalis (one-and-a-half-foot-long) translates as in Latin.
Liana Yardlong Bean is one of the earliest to bear in this species. The vines are an amazing 10 to 12 feet long. The pods, which may form just 60 days after sowing, hang in groups. They are best for cooking and eating if picked before they reach full maturity. When picking the beans, it is important not to pick the buds which are above the beans. That way the plant will set many more beans on the same stem. The vines will take longer to reach maturity than bush or most pole snap beans. But these grow so fast in the heat that they can and should be picked daily. The plants will produce beans until frost. Do not boil them as they get mushy, just lightly steam or stir fry them. Cliff grew these beans for me out west. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
MOSAIC YARD LONG BEAN - (Vigna unguiculata) My friend Cliff, raised this bean for me. I just plain don't have the room for this prolific producer in my own gardens. So Cliff does me the huge favor of growing this for me. Oriental long beans such as this aren't true beans, they are the same family where we get cowpeas, black eyed peas or field peas. But we eat them like beans so that is what the name says. Mosaic Yard long Bean is called mosaic because of the gorgeous 13 to 15 inch long pods which are mottled in colors of purple, red and green. This is a very ornamental plant, with flowers that are a snow white with shades of blue. There are these purple/red "threads" that extend on the petals close to the blooms. Cliff says the growing to bean stage is 55-60 days, which may differ according to where you live. That is why I don't like to give days to maturity, since there is so much varience due to geography. Cliff says they produce beans until frost. Cliff is also very scientifc and loves to give the bean to leaf ratio on all his beans. He says these are 1:1 foliage to pod ratio. These are such fun to grow and they grow so fast you can almost see them getting longer. Kids love them! 10 fresh sustainably grown beans.
*NEW FOR 2014* SUNSET RUNNER BEAN - Species coccineus (Sorry there is no picture) This runner bean has lovely deep pink blossoms ,and the same growing habit as Painted Ladies. It is considered an ornamental climber in England because of its rapid growth and its many lovely flowers. It will climb counterclockwise, unlike most climbing beans. Very rare seed and so pretty with purple and black mottling. The pods are edible as well with a rich "beany" taste if picked small. It has huge long pods which get up over foot long and are filled with these very large seeds.
These are so incredibly beautiful and extremely attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. I grow them all over my fences. This is a prime example of an ornamental edible. Runner beans were first introduced to England in 1633 by John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I. It has a Pole Bean running habit.
The locals here in Amishland in the early 1800's used to serve runner beans "whittled" into long shreds called in dialect "Schipple," and made them into a pickled form like sauerkraut called "Schipplebuhne". 10 huge organically grown bean seeds.
*NEW FOR 2014* DESIREE RUNNER BEAN MIX~ Species coccineus~ (Sorry there is no picture) Pure Desiree has pure white blossoms, and the original seeds are an all white seed. This mix contains both white seed and the dark seed which is a scarlet type with red flower. So these seeds probably contains genes of both varieties. That is why I am selling this as a mix. It is considered an ornamental climber in England because of its rapid growth and its many lovely flowers. It will climb counterclockwise, unlike most climbing beans. Very rare seed. The pods are edible as well with a rich "beany" taste if picked small. It has huge long pods which get up over foot long and are filled with these very large seeds.
These are so incredibly beautiful and extremely attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. I grow them all over my fences. This is a prime example of an ornamental edible. Runner beans were first introduced to England in 1633 by John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I. It has a Pole Bean running habit.
The locals here in Amishland in the early 1800's used to serve runner beans "whittled" into long shreds called in dialect "Schipple," and made them into a pickled form like sauerkraut called "Schipplebuhne." These runner beans were grown for me by my "beany" friend Cliff out west. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
BLAUHILDE PURPLE POLE BEAN Here is a spectacular purple bean from Germany. This pole bean is sure to be be part of your edible landscaping for sure. The dark purple-skinned bean is deep purple on the outside but when cut open it is green. Just a wondrous standout in the garden. Like all the purple sorts, when cooked, the purple color changes magically into a lustrous dark green. Great tasting - and you can steam the pods less than two minutes to retain their vibrant deep purple/blue color. The flowers are also purple and very ornamental. An old standard in Germany, it is famous all around Europe. Resistant to Common Bean Mosaic Virus. The stringless round pods grow up to 11-inches in length without losing quality. Cliff my "beany" friend grew this out for me out west. He said it needs a 6 to 8 foot high trellis as it is that vigorous a grower. Cliff says the ratio of beans to foliage is 1:2. Great taste not unlike my now out of stock "Trionfo Violetto." Fleshy pods produce over a very long season right up to frost. Sorry I do not have a photo of this bean at this time. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
*BACK FOR 2014!
* VELOUR DWARF PURPLE FRENCH BEAN bush~ Perfect for Containers! (matures in 55 days) Velour's pods are a glowing purple color, almost electric! And the succulent taste is even better than its royal purple beauty. A real gourmet treat from France, where they have the highest standards for snap type filet beans. This is a true miniature plant with round pods 1 inch in diameter that grow 5-6 inches long. They bear heavily for such a small plant all season long. These purple lovelies are great in storage as they freeze well. And of course the sublime flavor is perfect sauteed or lightly steamed. Needless to say, they are absolutely stringless as well.
My wonderful rancher friend, Cliff , grew these gorgeous beans out for me where he had a perfect growing season for 2011. (unlike here in Amishland where we had an unseasonably wet and cold spring, then a hot drought -ridden summer, followed by fall flooding). He also took the great photo showing their glowing beauty.
All you gardeners with limited space who are unable to grow except in containers will be thrilled with this new French wonder. It only grows 15 inches tall! All I can say is "ooh la la, Vive la France!"
10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
ELDON KINGHORN WAX BEAN Scarce! My wonderful rancher friend, Cliff, who farms in the northwest, grew out these Wax (yellow sort) beans for me. Cliff says that wax beans are being dropped by nearly all the seed houses and are geting very difficult to find. Here, in his own words, in quotes, is what he says about this historic bean:
"24 inch tall, 55 day, bush bean. White flower, pale green filet, in early stages, turn a straw yellow as they mature. 5-7 inches, round pod, stays tender longer than most beans, excellent as a snap bean, was the wax bean of choice by Bird's Eye Foods for both canning and freezing in the 1960s.
Eldon Kinghorn, an Idaho native, was born in Rigby, Idaho in 1905 (d.1973), was working for Wilford Seed Co, of Basin, Wyoming, when he developed this wax bean line in late 40s to early 1950s. Wilford Seed was an affiliate of Woodruff Seed Co. of Orange, Conn., and he was employed with Woodruff until 1958, when the company sold to Asgrow Seed. (Woodruff was embroiled in a costly
lawsuit, lost, and then lost again on appeal, name drug thru mud, company sold to asgrow after they lost the appeal. (My research here is a point of interest, not germain to seed listing!)"
(note from Lisa: I think all history is important in telling the stories behind the seeds.
"Story goes that the first bushel of Kinghorn Wax Beans, was given to Bird's Eye to try, & they loved the bean. 1970s, seed sold mostly by Gurneys."
Now this bean is nearly impossible to find, but you can get it here, and enjoy that mild, sweet taste that wax beans are known for. This photo is also taken by Cliff. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
**BACK FOR 2014! LIMITED QUANTITIES ~ ORDER EARLY!** HOMER NELSON FAMILY PINK TIP HALF RUNNER BEAN ~ONLY USA SOURCE~ This fabulous, super rare, triple use (snap, shelly, dry) type bush bean is a sure winner. It has a good bean to foliage ratio of 1:2. It only grows 12-15 inches tall, but it spreads 1 to 1-1/2 feet in each direction. This is a rare family heirloom, 3 generations deep from Pounding Mill, Tazewell County, Virginia, which is in the western foothills of the Appalachian Mts, (the Great Valley of VA.) The pods are green in snap stage, and then turn pink after the snap stage. The seed is shiny chestnut brown color. This is an old favorite in the south as a snap, shelly and dry bean. The Homer Nelson family where the bean came from said, "This is the real McCoy when it comes to Pink Tip Half Runner Bean." My seed stock was sustainabley grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. He says "Yields better, happier on a trellis, truly old fashioned variety, good snap in early stages". To the best of my knowledge, I am the only commercial source of this rare family heirloom bean.
Due the high demand and low stock this year, the seed per pack amount is5 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
*BACK FOR 2014!* MRS MAROTTI'S BUSH ROMANO BEAN ~ VERY RARE~ORDER EARLY Here is another of Cliff's rare beans he grew for me. Here, in quotes, in his own words, is the history from his extensive research:
"70-80 days, 20 inches high, roundish pod not flat like most romanos, shiny, round midnight blue seed. Very tasty as a cooked bean, (steamed them whole, not snapped). Canada lists bean as endangered. I assume that this is also a Canadian bean. Mrs. Marotti emigrated from Sicily over 80 years ago, and brought her favorite bean seed to her new world location.
I can not find any other info, after an extensive web search. Heirloom romano beans are very hard to find, as most have lost their identity over the years. (I have been searching for more heirloom romano's, and as of yet, have not found very many). As bean starts to dry, pods have very light red streaks. Flower is white.Sets beans all at once, so it is a one shot crop bean .we need to spread this bean into as many hands as possible."
5 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds per pack due to rarity.
OLD TENNESSEE RED PEANUT BEAN~ RARE~Hard to Find Heirloom~Limited Quantities~ Order Early! This old fashioned bean is what is called a half or 1/2 runner. It was grown for me by my "beany" friend Cliff. This is what he says in his own words: "does not grow into trellis, but does climb. Think a 45 degree slant trellis might work best. Perfectly straight pods, 6-7 inches long. 55 days to snap. Pods turn red when mature at about 85 days, seed is light pink. Traditional mid-south bean that is difficult to find, outside of mid -south. This is a totally different bean than the pink tip 1/2 runner listed last year. Heavy pod setter, bean to foliage ratio 1:1". It is called a peanut bean because the dry beans when cooked are supposed to taste like peanuts! Limited Quantities~ Order Early! 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
GRANDMA BITTICK'S HAMBONE BEAN~ Limited supplies~Order Early~ Bush soldier bean type. Here is another of Cliff's special finds. he said that is was a cooking soup bean from a New England family of German potters . They lived in St. Louis , MO after the turn of the century.This bean has been raised in the family for 6 generations. It is a favorite dried bean cooked with a hambone, hence its name. Soldier bean have a dark burgundy/black spot on the helium that looks like the figure of a soldier This was a bean raised for me by my good friend Cliff. 10 sustainably grown bean seeds.
WHITE SETTLER BUSH BEAN aka COVELO RESERVATION BEAN One of 2 SOURCES IN USA~ Rare and Endangered Variety ~Very Limited Quantities~Order Early!~ Here is another great rare bean grown for me by Cliff. Here, in his own words, is what he says: "from Humbolt County, CA. Bush filet, 15-20 inches, does best in hot dry climates, excellent snap & dry bean. Covelo is indian reservation in northern CA, where the bean was found by an organic farmer named Chris Balz. He had the bean researched at U of CA, Davis campus, and it did not correlate with any known beans in their collection. RARE/ENDANGERED BEAN." I was also able to find a bit more information on this little bean. Although beans are a new world crop they actually weren't grown in Northern California until after the "white settlers" (ie Europeans) came. These roundish, shiny brown beans come from the Covelo Reservation in California's Round Valley. Therefore, on the reservation they came to be called "white settler bean". No one knows the actual travel route these beans made. Perhaps they came directly from Mexico or maybe they made their way to Europe and then travelled back with the Italian farmers who came to farm this small valley. But they were carefully saved and preserved all these years. And now, thanks to Cliff, you can grow a piece of this rare California history. Due to their endangered status only 3 packs per customer please (and do try and perpetuate these please!) 5 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
LAZY WIFE BEAN aka LAZY HOUSEWIFE BEAN- Pole Bean - This is an old bean intoduced by German immigrants in the United States about 1810. It is one of our oldest beans to be documented. It got its name because it was one of the first beans to be "stringless", a real boon to the busy housewives of the day. It is very prolific and sets its beans in clusters that are easy to pick, another "lazy" thing that makes it great. The Lazy Housewife is rather a late season pole bean but it is well worth the wait. Picked young, the bean pods are of a delicate texture and brittle, making for a swell snap. The flavor is consistantly fine both from early to late season. Burpee's 1888 catalog had this to say about the Lazywife Bean: "...they are broad, thick, very fleshy and entirely stringless! Many persons have testified that they never ate a bean quite so good in distinct rich flavor." Also makes a great "shelly" bean if ripened a bit longer. The pods are 5-6 inches long and straight. It also makes a great dry or "winter" bean. The locals here used to make "leather britches" out of late beans by stringing them and letting them dry over the mantle of the fireplace. Then they would keep pretty much all winter. Lovely shiny pure white beans. Sorry, the fall sunshine didn't do justice to their beauty when I photographed them in the bowl.
10 of my own fresh organically grown bean seeds.
HUTTERITE SOUP BEAN This bean variety was grown and preserved by the Hutterite Christian group, who followed the teaching of Jacob Hutter, their Austrian leader. They immigrated to north America in the 1870's and still have communities set up across America. The Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who follow the teachings of Jakob Hutter. This bean makes an excellent creamy white soup. (I apologize for the incorrect information about the Hutterites on my website, and thank Daniel L. Flyger of the Oaklane Hutterite Colony for setting the record straight.) After enduring centuries of persecution in Europe, the Hutterites, a communal Anabaptist sect, came to South Dakota from the Ukraine in the 1870s. Although there is no real evidence to back the claim, this bean had been credited to their cultural heritage. Instead, it may be a Russian selection of the China Yellow bean that has been grown by Americans and Canadians since the 1820s
Hutterite Soup Bean is considered one of the best soup beans ever because it quickly cooks (only 20 minutes if soaked overnight first) to make the most delicious soup that is just naturally thick and creamy. When cooked you won't even need to add cream or butter, but that is what it tastes like. They are probably the most "fragrant" bean seed you will ever find, making a truly wonderful creamy white soup.
Hutterite Soup Beans grow on short bushes only 24 -30 inches tall and mature quickly in approximately 80-85 days. They are way compact and highly prolific. Unlike most beans, you can plant these in early spring as early as possible after the last expected hard frost. Therefore, all you gardeners in colder regions can really get a jump on the season. These beans are a lovely greenish tan color unlike any other bean I have ever seen, and resemble black eyed peas because of their black helium (spot). Seed quantity increased due to a great growing season.
Now 20 of my own fresh organically grown bean seeds.
BACK FOR 2014~ SWISS LANDFRAUEN type POLE BEAN Please try the nearly identical WEINLANDERIN POLE BEAN - SWISS HEIRLOOM ~ONLY US SEED SOURCE!~ VERY LIMITED QUANTITY-first come first served!~ limit of 3 packs only please~ This is my absolutely favorite snap bean for taste, bar none. No other snap bean even comes close! I used to carry this when I first started Amishland Heirloom Seeds and have been unable to grow enough seeds to resell for several years now. I still get phone calls, emails and letters from all over requesting this bean. To my knowledge I am the only commercial seed source of the bean in the USA. These beans were increased by my "beany" friend Cliff. I asked him to help me to get this bean back for sale by growing it in a larger quantity than I am able to. Cliff is a godsend and sent me his stock for you. He calls it Swiss Landfrauen Type pole bean. Cliff has this to say about this bean in his own words: "6 to 8 foot trellis, 1:1 bean to foliage ratio. European horticultural type of bean, most flavorful, best tasting of all pole beans that I have raised. Bears heavy concentrated clumps of pods, 7 to 9 inches long per pod. Violet blue blossom. Some pods can be almost totally purple/red with little green pod showing. After raising this variety for over six years, planting seed from the near purple/red pods results in normal mottled colored pods. Seed is not mixed up, this is common with this type of bean, some pods have more color than others. The same occurs in the Weinlanderin Pole Bean. Aggressive grower, outgrew many other pole beans planted the same day in very similar soil... this is the best tasting of all pole beans I have raised!" And believe me, Cliff has raised a lot of different Pole beans. So, I am very pleased to say that I can offer this super rare bean again this year. DUE TO DEMAND AND LIMITED QUANTITY - ONLY 5 SEEDS PER PACK.
**BACK FOR 2014!**AMISH GNUDDEL BEAN - NOTE: This is sometimes spelled Knuddel, Knuttle, or Gnuttle Bean. (In Pennsylvania Dutch there are many variations in spelling as this is really only a spoken language) ~ RARE - Hard To Find
This is a very old Amish heirloom bean. It is what is called a "cutshort" because all the beans are squished in the pod so tightly that they have square sides. It dates back to the early 1800's. The Amish use this as a dry bean for rich stew soups that they serve after their Sunday services to their whole congregation which meets in a local home each week. This is an important bean in their culture and in their meals. It is a half runner bean, not quite as tall as a pole bean but it throws out runners that twine around whatever is available, so the Amish often grow it with corn. It grows about 5-6 feet tall, with short pods. It is a late season bean and takes about 90 days here in Amish country, or early September in my zone 6A garden. 10 of my own fresh organically grown seeds
PURPLE PODDED POLE BEAN MIX ~ Very Limited Quantities ~Order Early~This bean mix is the brainchild of my friend Cliff who grows out a lot of my beans for me. He felt people would like a mixture of some of the rarer purple pole beans that we can't offer as single varieties since we don't have that quantity of any given kind. He wanted my customers to be able to experience these beauties too. So this mix contains short, mid and long season varieties. You will need a 6-8 foot trellis to grow them properly. With this mix, the beans should bear throughout the season. Includes Dow, Purple Peacock, Purple Podded/Purple Leaf, Purple Marconi, and Trionfo Violetta pole beans. But not necessarily all of these as this is an all mixed-up variety. The photo is only of the Trionfo Violetta but it is typical of the look of all of the pretty purple types. I do however offer the Purple Marconi and the Violetta as single varieties on this page. 10 fresh sustainably grown seeds
*BACK FOR 2014!* MRS. WALLACE'S CASEKNIFE BEAN- EXCLUSIVE~ ONLY USA SEED SOURCE! Here is another bean I got from years ago from Mr. Benjamin Judd of Sparta, TN. My "beany" friend Cliff grew these out for me this season. Caseknife refers to the odd shape of the pods. This is a very old term for this kind of bean. They are flattened on one edge and curved on the other side of the pod. I have never grown so prolific of a producer. It is also, far and above, the tallest true bean vine I have ever seen. Mine have reached 15 to 20 plus feet yearly! I grew them on long 12-foot bamboo poles and the bean went all the way up and then all the way down the pole! This is a bean more suited to eat in the "shelly" stage (eat like fresh limas) or as a dry bean.
Grow a piece of history with this bean. Caseknife beans date back to the 1700's in the United states, and Thomas Jefferson grew several sorts. The dried beans themselves are speckled and have an odd spoon shape. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only source of this particular bean. 10 fresh sustainably raised beans.
WHITE CHRISTMAS POLE LIMA BEAN IMPROVEDdeveloped approximately in the 1990s, ~SCARCE~Only One of 2 USA Sources~ Very Limited Quantities Order Early~ As I write this description it is less than 2 weeks till Christmas, so it seems appropriate. This lovely Lima is derived from an accidental cross of "Christmas" and "Sieva" limas. The original seed that Cliff did his breeding work with came from Brian Heatherington in GA. These Beans are hand shelled, and come from pods with three seeds per pod. More productive, as most pods contained 1 or 2 seeds per pod when Cliff first started to grow these limas. Cliff says: "lima beans are a warm weather bean, should only be planted when soil tempatures are about 70 degrees. No soil thermometer? When daytime temperatures are in the 80 degree range, soil is approx 10 degrees colder. "This was another great bean sustainably grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. He said it did well in the northwestern climate that is usually not conducive to Lima bean growing. He said the beans to foliage ratio was 1:2, with 2-4 seeds per pod. He grew them on a 10 foot trellis, and said 80% of beans were in or near the top of the trellis. He had a growing season in the midwest of 75-80 days for this Lima. It produces a beautiful, large seeded ivory-white bean that looks like it has been air-brushed with purple on one end. "White Christmas" yields heavily, and is easy to shell. Evidently, it is also a reliable producer in hot, humid areas. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.
5 fresh sustainably grown seeds.
EVA'S CHOW CHOW BEANS - ~ 150 YEAR OLD PA HEIRLOOM ~EXCLUSIVE~ Eva passed away at 89 years old 6 summers ago. I will miss her so much more than I can say. She taught me so very much about gardening and shared so many of her family's seeds with me. Among others, she gave me these beans that have been grown by her Pennsylvania German family for 5 generations on their local family farm in Schoeneck (translates from the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect as "beautiful corner") Pennsylvania. Small, prolific bush type bean plants. They don't get very tall and the bean pods are so long they almost hit the ground. They are white color with a burgundy "eye" on the helix. Good in the green snap stage (Eva used them in the family's "chow chow" relish along with other beans, and corn.) Please see my recipe page for a traditional PA Dutch Chow Chow recipe. (And more traditional chow chow recipes are to come.) They are also good dried in the pod and used a dry/baking/cooking bean. Very resistant to bugs and disease! I am the exclusive source for these particular strain old heirloom beans. 10 of my own fresh organically grown bean seeds.
*BACK AGAIN FOR 2014* POTOMAC POLE BEAN ~SCARCE~This is a great heirloom bean dating from the Virginia side of the Potomac River before 1860. After the Civil War it was carried west by the Barley family to Tehama County, California, where it has been grown for over 125 years. It produced long slender green pods, about 6 1/2 inches long which were slightly curved. These had excellent quality and flavor beans. The plants had a 1:1 beans to foliage ratio. It produced vigorously and heavily. It grew on an 8 foot trellis, but most beans were at the 4-6 foot level. It produced well in the hot dry midwest summer, but would really probably prefer a cooler/moister climate. It germinates well in cool soil and yields well in cool season areas. The seeds are a dark purple-black color, about 5/8-inch long and slightly flattened in shape. The huge trifoliate leaves grew 6-10" across. I grew up near the water in Maryland and Virginia. I actually to my knowledge never had this exact bean but I may have eaten it as a child without knowing it. I sure hope I did. Seed stock this year was grown sustainably by my good friend Cliff. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff. 10 fresh sustainably grown seeds
RUTH BIBLE POLE BEAN ~SCARCE~This family heirloom bean is from the Buoys family in Kentucky and dates back to 1832. The vines are quite long and bear heavily. The large pods, like many old time beans, may have slight strings. These are much better when tender and small about 3-4 inches. This year, our first, they grew on a 10 foot trellis. They have a 1:1 beans to foliage ratio. Bean pods are light green in color. Most of the pods were 3-5 inches containing brownish-tan seeds. 63-65 days. This is a great "old timey” bean that produces all season. It is a drought resistant “cornfield type" pole bean. Seed stock this year was grown sustainably by my good friend Cliff. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.
10 fresh sustainably grown seeds
SOUTHERN WILLOW-LEAVED LIMA aka WILLOW LEAF LIMA ~SCARCE~ (86-90 days) I am pleased to re-offer this rare Lima bean again after an absence of several years. This is the correct name according to WW Tracy,
"American Garden Bean Varieties." I have had this gorgeous and tropical looking plant top out over 15 to 20 feet in a hot Pennsylvania summer in my zone 6A garden, but for Cliff it grew about 10+ ft. It bears in the mid to top portion of the trellis. Cliff reports that the bean to foliage ratio is 1:3.
It has great heat and drought resistance due to the odd but ornamental shape of the leaves. It obviously does best in the warm coastal areas and the south. Willow Leafed Lima is reportedly a sport of Sieva Lima beans released by W Atlee Burpee in 1891. The pods are 3-inches long and contain 2-3 chalky white small beans. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff. 10 fresh sustainably grown lima bean seeds.
*BACK FOR 2014* WORCESTER INDIAN RED POLE LIMA~aka Peruvian Lima ~SCARCE~ Very Limited Quantities~ Order Early~ (75 days) This was another great lima bean sustainably grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. It was originally ground into flour by Native Americans, or served with red corn. In the south slaves originally cooked this with brown Goober peas (a close relative of the peanut) and red sweet potatoes for a variation of FuFu, African mashed dumplings. Cliff said he could not find this in the "Bean Bible”: American Garden Bean Varieties, 1907 by WW Tracy. He feels that it must have not been of commercial value at that time. Tracy states that the number of varieties of limas was huge in the 1820s, but many disappeared, with most of production at 1907 in southern states or California. Cliff said that the beans to foliage ratio is 1:1. He found it most productive and grew his on a 10 foot trellis, and said it bears all the way up the trellis. He also notes it does have wild traits; pods do open when they are dry. This trait is called “shattering." There are 3-4 seeds per pod and they are a beautiful deep, nearly purple red color. Sorry, Cliff said his photo isn't the best. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff. 10 fresh sustainably grown seeds
BACK FOR 2014! WEINLANDERIN POLE BEAN - SWISS HEIRLOOM - 65 DAYS~LIMITED QUANTITY-ORDER EARLY! I am now selling again the elusive purple speckled "Landfrauen" Swiss heirloom pole bean, perhaps the best tasting snap bean ever. I am listed as the only commercial source of this bean in the Sixth (2004 -last published-) edition of the Garden Seed Inventory. but I won't have a very large seed supply to sell this year and expect to sell out early. However, in a search for a close facsimile, I found seeds to the "Weinlanderin," another super Swiss heirloom pole bean. "Weinlanderin" translates as "maid of the wine country." I am pleased to report that these were almost as wonderful as the "Landfrauen" They won hands down, in all of Cliff's bean taste tests this season Just fabulous flavor and aroma, so lacking in beans these days. Pale green stringless pods have lovely purple mottling or streaks. They sometimes have fully purple pods, not a sign of crossing but just its growth habit. They will grow 7-9 inches long, but are best eaten slightly smaller at 5-6 inches. They have that indescribable European Mountain bean flavor. These are also a multi-purpose bean and can be served fresh or dried, and they freeze well too. My friend Cliff grew the seed beans sustainably for me. He noted that the ratio of bean to foliage is 1 to 1. Cliff took this beautiful photo as well. I have a limited quantity of this rare heirloom bean, so be sure to order early. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
OLD HOMESTEAD POLE BEAN aka "Kentucky Wonder" and "Texas Pole" 65 days -If you only grow one snap bean this season, this old timer is the one to plant. It has lots of history, and an enduring following with good reason- flavor. An heirloom prized by homesteaders in the mid 1800's this bean has never lost its popularity. It was first mentioned in The Country Gentleman Magazine in 1864 as "Texas Pole Bean." Then in 1877 it was reintroduced by James J.H. Gregory and Sons of Marblehead MA as "Kentucky Wonder." Old timers refer to it also as "Old Homestead." The meaty 7-10 inch pods remain very tender when cooked while maintaining its famous nutty flavor. This is a great snap bean for freezing as well. Pole beans are perfect for the small garden as they grow upward in very little space on a teepee or a trellis of poles preferrably with the bark left on so they can climb vigorously. If you have been looking at any seed catalogues lately, you will see fewer and fewer pole beans being offered for sale. My "Beany" friend, Cliff, explained one of the reasons why. He said that the bean combines (machinery for harvesting large quantities of beans) are developed for bush beans. So they get all tangled up when they go into pole bean fields, and break down. Therefore, the larger seed farmers no longer want to grow the pole types. My seeds this year were sustainably grown by my "beany" friend, Cliff. My awful cold and drought ridden summer here in Amishland precluded me having enough seeds for you, so Cliff helped out.
10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
PURPLE ITALIAN MARCONI STRINGLESS POLE BEANS- SCARCE~LIMITED QUANTITIES ORDER EARLY~
Just in from Italy, a fabulous violet purple Italian pole bean. I was so pleased with these pole snap beans. Vigorous and growing on strong vines up to 8 feet, these are just too beautiful to eat! These were grown on a trellis but they got so big and strong we had to attach an "addition" onto the fence holding up the trellis. They are very ornamental and lovely. The "Purple Marconi Pole Beans" have flat 5-7 inch long pods that turn green when blanched, but the color can be maintained if steam blanched for under 2 minutes. These have a sweet but hearty taste, and are best picked young.Another edible ornamental for your garden, try them raw with crudites for their gorgeous color. Pretty early for a pole sort at 67 days to maturity. The color of the pods makes for fast harvesting and makes it so easy for kids, who love to pick them and then watch them turn a bright green color when they are cooked.The kids will eat their veggies now! A rare beauty! My special thanks to my friend Cliff who acquired and grew out these wonderful beans for me. Cliff grows all his beans sustainably, without pesticides. The lovely photo is also taken by Cliff on location. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
BACK AGAIN FOR 2014! GRANDMA NELLIE'S YELLOW PODDED MUSHROOM POLE BEAN ~now considered an ENDANGERED BEAN~ This was another great bean sustainably grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. Here is what he said about this rare bean in his own words:
“60-65 DAYS, uses 6-7 foot trellis, 1:1 bean to foliage, not super productive, but bears all season long. Has wild trait, pods open when dry. (Note from Lisa- this is called "shattering" in botanical parlance.) Very old variety has a white flower, as most beans did in early 1900s (according to Cliff's favorite, WW Tracy's book American Garden Bean Varieties 1907). Pods are very coarse, (note from Lisa- perhaps try them less than
5-inch long?) not a snap, rather a shelly, or dry bean. The pods are light yellow or wax type."
This year Cliff sent me new information on this rare bean and here is what he found:
"The Nellie bean is thought to have originally been a Russian heirloom bean, it was given to Nellie Chernoff, of Kamsack, Saskatchewan, by a Russian lady immigrant friend. Kamsack is in mid Saskatchewan, near the Manitoba border. Hence, the bean will start in colder soil, does best in cooler climates, extreme heat causes bean to wither and die back.
Can be used as a snap bean in very early stages, but still have not tried as a cooked bean, as you need the seed, which is quite rare.
Seed Diversity of Canada website lists this bean as endangered, and only available from a few private growers."
The name is such because it supposedly tastes like mushrooms. You will have to take her word for it since neither Cliff nor I have eaten it yet. We saved all the beans for you.
5 fresh sustainably grown seeds
*SOLD OUT* TRUE RED CRANBERRY POLE DRY BEAN- ~ 1700's HEIRLOOM ~ Very Rare~
This is the rare heirloom bean that was rediscovered by celebrated bean collector, John Withee. He searched for 11 years for this bean after reading about a "Red Cranberry" bean in a 1700's gardening encyclopedia. He finally discovered it growing on a Mr. Taylor's farm in Steep Falls, Maine. These beans are fat and shiny and a wondrous deep cranberry red color that does not show up well in photos. These beans really do look like real cranberries, only a bit darker red in color. These are probably one of America's oldest bean varieties, probably of Native American origin . True Red Cranberry beans grow on stocky, shortish 6 foot vines and can take the cold and short growing seasons better than any other bean I have grown. They have a rich flavor unlike any other bean I have tasted They are one of my personal favorites not only for beauty but for taste.
PRETZEL BEAN - aka Ram's Horn Bean This bean will be a sure hit with children and will impress all your neighbors and fellow gardeners. You have never seen anything like it. An old heirloom bean from Lancaster County, grown here for years by the Amish and the Mennonites mostly just for fun. The pictures say it all. It really looks like a green pretzel! Absolutely lovely decorative purple flowers are on the plant at the same time as the beans. It can grow up to 6 feet , so a bit of staking will help, but mine usually are about 4 feet tall. It does best planted in blocks rather than rows. Absolutely showstopping fun for all to see. Can be cooked when young like string beans, but really more for show than culinary use. I guarantee everyone will want the elusive "Pretzel Bean" once they see it growing, and curling exactly like its namesake. I had heard about it and searched for it for years and finally tracked some down at a farm nearby and have been growing it ever since. It likes a bit of drought. I grew this at the Pennsylvania German demonstration garden at the Historic Schaefferstown Musuem and it is so wildly popular that the visitors continually "steal" the beans. So I always have limited quantities of this rare and beautiful bean. Because of the high demand, I decided to list this bean this year even though I have so very few seeds. 10 of my own organically grown bean seeds.
HARWIG'S HEIRLOOM BELGIUM POLE "FILET" SNAP BEAN- RARE!- - BABY BEANS ON A POLE! - I was thrilled to get seed of this rare family heirloom pole bean, through a friend out west. This Minnesota family heirloom was brought to the United States from Belgium in the early 1900's by D. Harwig's grandmother. What makes this bean so extra special is a quality I have never encountered before in a pole sort. This is a fancy, filet-type snap green bean, very tiny and thin and only 4 to 6 inches long. The 6 to 8 foot long vines are absolutely encrusted with hundreds of these specialty gourmet "french style" type beans. You never saw such production, especially in this type of gourmet bean. Filet beans are usually on short,small bushes, and by nature not plentiful like these pole sorts. Heavy yielding and prolific is an understatement. Fabulous, very delicate flavor make this a real winner for all you lovers of things French (or Flemish). I bet Julia Child or the most famous Belgian, Hercule Poirot, would have loved these baby beans! My special thanks to my friend Cliff who acquired and grew out these wonderful beans for me. Cliff grows all his beans sustainably, without pesticides. This beautiful photo was also taken by Cliff on location. 10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.
-PURPLE PODDED POLE BEAN - BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!- This is a heavenly, almost fluorescent purple pole bean, hailing from the Ozark mountains. This lovely heirloom beauty was found growing in a garden the 1930's by the old Henry Fields Seed Company. It is most likely of European origin and probably dating much earlier than that . Very vigorous grower of vines reaching easily over 6 -8 feet , but not out of control like some pole types I have grown. I grow mine on bamboo poles intertwined with my lovely purple "Grandpa Otts Morning Glory". It is stunning that way. It is a favorite bean for growing for children, since it "magically" turns bright green when cooked right before their very eyes. Plus the pods are so easy for youngsters (and oldsters) to see and pick. Try growing a living "fort" on a bamboo teepee for your kids with these. These gorgeous snap beans are stringless, nice and meaty. They are less than 1/2 inch across by about 5-7 inches long. The entire bean plant just glows and is quite ornamental with purple vines and veins in the leaves, and as you can see in the photo lovely bi-colored purple flowers as well. Fairly early for a pole sort. Seed is a buff brown color, with a hint of lavender. 10 of my own sustainably grown fresh beans.
COSSE VIOLETTE POLE BEAN ~ SCARCE ~ ALL PURPLE PLANTS!
This was another great heirloom bean sustainably grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. Here is what Cliff had to say in his own words about this pretty purple bean : " ...violet pole bean, great new selection, 1:1 bean to foliage ratio, very heavy producer unlike many of the violetta beans. Pod clusters of 4-7, bears all season long. Excellent flavor. 65-70 days, needs about 10 foot trellis, bears from bottom to top of trellis, most at middle of trellis. Excellent bonus, stem are purple and almost all leaves have a purple tinge across the top of the leaf." Cliff told me he got the original seed from the United Kingdom although it is a French heirloom bean. We both are big fans of purple podded pole beans and source every type we can get our hands on to grow out. Remember all purple snap beans turn bright green when blanched (cooked) and it is always fun to do that "trick" when the children are watching in the kitchen. The lovely photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.
10 fresh sustainably grown seeds
BACK AGAIN FOR 2014! MASAI SNAP BEAN- BUSH TYPE-This is a super gourmet mini french filet bean. It's ready to pick at at 50 days. It is vigorous, fast growing, and very heavy bearer throughout the season. One if its good points is you dont have to pick daily. The green 4-6 inch beans are tender and tasty. Plants are very compact, about 12-14 inches tall, and will work very well even in containers. You get dozens of beans per small plant.They bear from mid-summer till frost. In fact fall crops are just as heavy as in summer. I have tried many mini french filet beans, and MASAI is my favorite filet ! This is another of the wonderful beans grown sustainably for me by my great bean friend Cliff.
10 fresh organically grown bean seeds.
PAINTED LADY RUNNER BEAN - also called York or Lancaster Runner -
Species coccineus - The name "Painted Lady" refers to Queen Elizabeth I, who wore rouge and makeup in her day. This is the only runner bean with unique bi-colored blossoms . It is considered an ornamental climber in England because of its rapid growth and its many lovely flowers. It will climb counterclockwise, unlike most climbing beans. Very rare seed. The lovely whitish pink and coral red bi-colored blossoms are so decorative. They are edible as well with a rich "beany" taste if picked small. It has huge long pods which get up over foot long and are filled with very large mottled buff and brown seeds. They have a unique little "hook" on the end of the pod that I haven't ever seen before in any other beans.
These are so incredibly beautiful and extremely attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. I grow them all over my fences. This is a prime example of an ornamental edible. It was first introduced to England in 1633 by John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I. Described by Arrabida Flora of Rio Janeiro in 1827, and still very rare. It has a Pole Bean running habit. The locals here in Amishland in the early 1800's used to serve runner beans "whittled" into long shreds called in dialect "Schipple," and made them into a pickled form like sauerkraut called "Schipplebuhne". I have only a limited supply of these seeds. I had searched for years for this rare variety and now you can have it in your gardens too.
10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.