This tasty and prolific bean was donated by Seed Guardian Liz Ramsay, who was given the seeds by her sister's partner, a native of British Columbia, Canada. His family have grown this variety since the beginning of the 20th century. It is thought that the family received the beans as payment for help repairing farm equipment for a Ukrainian neighbour. Liz says, “The pods can be eaten at all stages: juicy and young, tender and mature or even as a dried bean.”
Originating in the city of Rouen, capital of the Normandy Region in France, in the 1950s, this vigorous (1.8-2.4m) ex-commercial variety looks beautiful grown on a wigwam support with its pairs of delicate white flowers and large green leaves. The long green pods have a slight red stripe and are tender and flavoursome when young. When mature the podded beans are delicious.
Syn. Longfellow. Donated to us by Harlow Carr Botanic Garden, Harrogate. This fine haricot bean produces neat plants with white flowers followed by slim and crisp pencil pods, which are stringless when young. Seed Guardian Bill Dale comments, “I probably shouldn't say it but in the many years I've grown it, no disease or other problems. A crisp and crunchy treat when eaten fresh and young. A good, no-nonsense bean!”
Donated in the early 1980s by an American member, this selection of the ancient ‘Trout’ variety produces pale-green, luscious young pods, or, if allowed to dry, tasty white seeds speckled with burgundy. Carries pods high on the compact plants so may need staking later in the season. Found by Seed Guardians to be particularly disease resistant.
Dating back to at least 1882, this Dutch-bred variety was used by the English as a forcing bean for hothouses. Produces compact plants (30-50cm) with white flowers followed by green pods that lighten with age to almost a silver-white giving, with a little imagination, the impression of icicles. Great fresh; either raw in salads when very young, or lightly steamed. Good flavour and texture when cooked after freezing, also dries well for use as a pulse. Sow to harvest 50-70 days (approx.)
Originally from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this variety has been handed down for at least three generations in our donor's family. The purple-pink flowers are complemented by purple-tinged leaves and stems, and followed by flat purple pods. A healthy and vigorous vine producing a prolific crop of tender pods. Perfect for eating fresh or freezing, and when dried the beans have a rich, nutty flavour.
This pea bean was donated by a member, who discovered them in a Majorcan market during the late 1980s. The seeds are the typical bicolour of pea beans; however, the maroon half is additionally striped with brown. Produces tall (up to 2.5m), strong vines and a good yield of tasty pods, but can be a little stringy if used fresh, and is best used as a drying bean.
Syn. Dutch Half Runner. This white seeded variety originates with the settlers of the Dutch Fork Section of South Carolina, USA. Growing to around 1.2m in height it produces white flowers and short, straight, pale green pods over a long season. When eaten young the pods are stringless and tasty, although the beans are equally delicious dried.
These bicoloured beans were given to our donor, Mr O'Driscoll, by his father, who had grown and saved them for many years. A vigorous and prolific variety, it is earlier than many French beans. Seed Guardian Ian Thomas describes them as “a pleasure to grow”. Flat, green pods flecked with purple follow mauve flowers. Can be eaten as whole pods when young, or left to mature and shelled.
Our donor was given these seeds by a friend who had, in turn, been given the beans by Percy Parker himself. Percy had grown this variety since World War Two in Barcombe, East Sussex. Unfortunately, Percy passed away, but his name lives on in this lovely bean. The strong and productive plants have white flowers followed by long, straight, flat, stringless green pods containing small, white beans.