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Posts Tagged ‘heirloom seeds’

I never dreamed that growing beans would be so instantly gratifying. It’s only been one day since my first beanlings broke ground, and I already have rows and rows of sturdy plants!

In an effort to be more progressive, I’ve planted heirloom beans (how ironic is that?) that I ordered from Seed Savers Exchange. Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation, just like our great-grandparents used to do. They are special because they produce plants that will produce actual viable seeds! If that sounds like a no-brainer, I will tell you that it’s not easy these days to find seeds that are so magical. The hybrid varieties I buy at the local hardware store will produce seeds, but they are, sadly, just duds.

I have a little fantasy of some day becoming an heirloom bean farmer. How much greater could life get? These bush beans I grow will need no trellises or staking. They grow fast (as you can see) and are prolific. Their magical fruits are delicious, colorful, fun to harvest, nutritious, and easy to store. Perhaps some day, when my student loan balance reaches zero, you will see me peddling my vast collection of beans at the local farmers’ market.

For now, I chose four varieties for my initial foray into bean farming:

Black Valentine: this is a standard black bean, which grows pods that can be eaten green as green beans (duh), or can be left to dry and harvested as individual black gems.

Ireland Creek Annie: This is actually an English bean with a lovely pale yellow color. I chose it because, according to the package, it “makes it’s own thick sauce when stewed.” Sounds great for bean soup!

Jacob’s Cattle: This is your typical Northeastern baked bean, which was originally cultivated by Native Americans in Maine. I liked the red and white pattern reminiscent of a speckled horse.

Bumble Bee: Need I say more? I’d like to say these are yellow beans with black stripes, but alas they were named instead for their big, bulbous, bumblebee shape. Even so, the name alone is worth the effort to grow it.

There’s just something inexplicably fun about growing beans. If anyone wants to give it a try, I have plenty of seeds left over!

Stay tuned for more about beans. 🙂

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