Arikara Yellow Bean - Bush Bean; Dry;Endangered; Sustainably Grown
(85 days) I have so much to tell you about the Arikara bean! This ancient bean was a main food crop for both the Arikara and Mandan First Nations in North Dakota. It was first documented by the Lewis and Clarke expedition and helped sustain them during the cold, harsh winter of 1805. It was grown by Jefferson at Monticello and he considered it "one of the most excellent we have" due to its taste and early maturity. Oscar Will then introduced it commercially as part of his Pioneer Indian Collection of seeds in in his 1915 seed catalogue. This bean is known for its hardiness and drought-tolerance, but it has proven incredibly prolific in cool, wet conditions for us as well. A superb baking bean, it holds its shape well when cooked and has a rich flavour. Oh yes, and it's been accepted onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste.
Black Calypso Bean - Bush; Snap/Dry; Certified Organic
(70 - 90 days) Aka Orca, Yin Yang. This beautiful bean is one of the best beans for baking and soup-making. Each bean is half-black/half-white with a contrasting eye - they do, indeed, resemble orcas or yin yang symbols (the Chinese symbol for harmony). Stout, 15" plants produce large harvests of these plump, delicious beans that have a potato-like taste. The markings remain when cooked, but turn to a tan and ecru colour combination. Harvest young as a snap bean or leave on the bush for a dried bean.
Bountiful Bean - Snap Bean; Sustainably Grown
(Bush; 47-50 days) 1897. This bean has a Canadian heritage! In 1897, Abel Steele from Ferguson, Ontario won a reward for naming this newly-introduced variety. Touted for its hardiness and productivity (hence the name), it produces 6-7" stringless pods.
Royal Burgundy Bean - Snap Bean; Sustainably-Grown
(Bush)(55 days) This bean is one I grow for myself every year. Its purple stems and purple-tinged foliage topped by purple-and-lavender flowers make it one of the most beautiful bean plants I know of. On top of that, it produces prodigious quantities of deep purple, straight, tender pods over an extended period. Developed in 1976 from Royalty Purple Pod, it's known for producing well, even in cool weather.
(55 days) One of the first purple-podded bush beans, it was developed by the late Professor Elwyn Meader at the University of New Hampshire and commercially introduced in 1957 by the Billy Hepler Seed Company. Combining beauty with function, this highly-ornamental bean features purple-hued foliage, purple flowers and bright purple, 5" pods. The plants are taller than most bush beans, making them perfect for raised beds and containers. We planted them along the edge of one of our raised beds and they draped beautifully over the edge. The flavourful beans turn green when cooked. The variety 'Royal Burgundy' was developed from 'Royalty Purple'. The seeds germinate well in cool soil and the plants last through several light frosts, which is a real bonus for northern gardeners!
Tendergreen Bean - Bush bean; Certified Organic
(Snap, 45 - 55 days) 1922. This incredible bean has so much going for it - its meaty, 5-6" stringless pods are produced in abundance early in the season - thus extending your harvest times, and it's both disease-resistant and heat tolerant. On top of all this, its flavour is considered one of the best for green beans.
Beurre de Rocquencourt Bean - Wax Bean; Endangered; Sustainably-Grown
(Snap Wax,Dry, Bush)(55 days) Named for the town of Rocquencourt, France which was known for its fine vegetables, this bean was a local French heirloom that became a recognized commercial variety in the 1930's. According to William Woys Weaver, it can grow in sun or partial shade and the dried beans make excellent soup or refried beans (unusual for a wax bean). Amazingly productive, it will keep on giving you beans as long as you keep picking them! The slender, stringless yellow pods with black seeds are aptly named, as they are tender and buttery.
Wax Bean; Bush; Certified Organic
(Bush) (45-60 days) Developed in 1871, this is one of the oldest wax beans still available. Strong bushes produce loads of pods that are 4-6" long, stringless, with a buttery flavour. Disease-resistant. Great for short season areas.