Friday, December 02, 2011

Amazement at bean varieties... thanks to GF!

I'm not sure if he would want his name up here, but I owe quite a large thank you to GF, a collector of seeds in Mass. who traded me a small handful of so many varieties.. beans, cowpeas, limas ...counted them up and it was 55! And then another large handful of different varieties of zucchini and summer squash. It felt like opening a strange and wonderful inheritance, of heirloom seeds, no less ;) I also appreciate the work it was to separate out a few of each variety, label it and send it all.

Some of the beans are so very different, I had never seen or heard of them. The 'Bosnian Pole bean' (recorded online at GardenWeb as a romano podded green type) is orange and black and white... just gorgeous. And I've been studying somewhat extensively for a year - but there is so much more out there than anybody can find out in such a short time. I look forward to sorting them and learning more about them - in order to narrow which ones to plant for next year and which ones to save. What I don't look forward to is choosing just a handful for the planting space! But to keep the varieties good and pure only a few types should be planted each year.

As someone at work said to me recently (as I passed her envelopes of sorghum and cowpea seeds) 'They say if you have beans, you will never be hungry.' She doesn't know the half of the feeling I have about it! I had told her about the two varieties that had started producing at the end of the season when everything else had died... and the cold weather tomatoes that started sparking just when the other tomatoes had given up. The richness of different varieties is that they have different jobs - different uses, different properties that are unique to themselves. I'm so excited to learn more about these and work to find the best ones for our land, our life, and our 'inheritance' to pass forward.

Yellow labels are pole.
White labels are half-runner.
Green labels are bush.

varieties: and notes
Uncle Walt's Vermont Cranberry
Mountain Climbers (Sandhill? green pole, 80 days Quall family Virginia ), grey long narrow beans with black markings
Dwarf Borlotto
Black Turtle
Dixie Red Speckled Butterpea (lima, bush)
Bosnian (green pole bean, zeedman says 6" long wide thick pods, prolific) the seeds themselves are orange and black and white mottled... very pretty
Dapple Gray
Country Gentleman
Borlotto Lamon "Climber. The plants is 180-190cms tall. 6-7 beans per pod", shelly type
Nano Cannellino : about 60 days (July to September), bush type, dry bean
Neckergold (sp?)
Rojas de Seda, 61-70 days bush via DavesGarden
Coco Bianco
Succotash (black lima?)
Mellow Yellow
Red Nightfall
Snowcap : 70 days to shelly stage, pole
French Horticultural LongPod
a very interesting packet marked 'unknown' with black and brown seeds
Maria Amaziliteis (listed as a pole bean on gardenweb)
Kentucky Wonder Wax (sandhill)
Polish - pole yellow flat pod
Beurre de Rocquencourt (Sandhill)
Golden Butterwax
Topax Pinto
Topnotch Golden Wax
Anasazi pole bean
Painted Pony
White Marrowfat
Dragon Langeries (wax pole shelly)
Cranberry (looks just like mine from this year!), multipurpose
Tiger Eye : 55-95 days, multipurpose, skins dissolve while cooking from dry
Parchman Lockwood Pinto (pole green snap and shelly dry)
Black Nightfall
Brittle Wax (sandhill)
Ma Williams
Red Caypso
Soldier (seen this as a soup bean)
Trout (ditto, soup)
Calypso (black and white) (bush?)
Marvel of Venice (small white beans, listed as pole)
True Red Cranberry (round red beans, pole, 95 days to dry)
Chaco Canyon runner bean (huge white beans, look like limas but aren't?, 60-75 days half-runner, no need to trellis)
'black' 09
Polestar runner bean
Florida Speckled Pole Lima beans : 75-100 days, pole
Piggott Family Heirloom bush cowpeas
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Peregion : bush bean with semi-vining
Tennessee Greasy
Insuk's Wang Kong runner bean
Ireland Creek Annie
Colorado River (look like smaller version of my Mayflower bean, a few places have them listed as the same bean... and both pole cutshorts, so it is a good chance they are the same.)

just some of them...

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