A rarity! It is claimed that these beans can be found only in 'one hollow' in Right Beaver Creek, Knott County, Kentucky. Growing to 1.2-1.5m in height, the pale apricot flowers are followed by flat, green pods which are tender and tasty when young. Let us know what you think of this one.
This American heirloom is unusual in that the very deep-purple/black seeds are almost shaped like a kernel of corn. The lilac flowers are followed by green pods each containing around six beans. Primarily a drying bean, perfect for use in the Native American dish consisting of corn, beans and peppers - hence its name. A late bean that appears to perform better for our growers in the South of England, possibly due to the warmer temperatures and longer growing season.
The tall plants (up to 2.4m) produce white flowers followed by green, carmine-splashed, stringless pods. Seed Guardian Ken Pawson found that they remained stringless even when the pods were allowed get large; Guardian Justine Gallaccio agrees. Ken describes them as “very tasty, excellent beans”; let us know what you think.
Achieved an RHS first-class certificate on its introduction in 1885 and at one time the most widely grown climbing French bean in England. Probably synonymous with Tender & True and Guernsey Runner, neither of which are now commercially available. A good cropper, covered in straight, long, delicious flat pods from top to bottom. Stringless when young, but makes a really attractive and tasty dried bean too.
Thought to be an ex-commercial variety, the tall (>2m), attractive vines have purple stems and purple flowers. It is also prolific: the long, slim, purple pods are produced in abundance. These pods can reach 30cm in length and turn green when cooked but still remain stringless!
Originally passed to our donor's sister by a friend who had in turn been given them in the late 1960s by a retired British War Graves Commission gardener. Produces vigorous, very tall plants: up to 3.5m has been recorded. The curled, green pencil pods have purple 'tiger stripes' which disappear when cooked. The beans themselves have a full, hearty flavour.
Although originally from India this has been grown by our donor on the St Mary’s Allotments in Leamington Spa – a multicultural hotch-potch of vegetable growing. It is the most productive of the Indian mustards trialled in our Sowing New Seeds project, producing large, mild-flavoured leaves.
(Brassica oleracea) An old Danish variety whose name simply means “eat the leaves”. A particularly tall kale reaching a magnificent 2m in height, so may require staking. The leaves are broad and glaucous, and are slightly peppery to taste. If picked young the leaves are delicious in salads.
(Brassica oleracea) Seed merchant JL Clucas Ltd describe this variety in their 1953 catalogue as “one of the most useful vegetables grown for a supply of greens from about October to the end of April. Sow seed in March, and plant out as soon as plants are large enough to handle, allowing tall green sorts fully 3 feet between the rows and 1.5 feet between the plants.” It produces very curly leaves on compact plants 30-45cm in height and around 30cm wide.
(Brassica oleracea) Our donor's family has grown this variety for several generations and found it to be “the nicest tasting of all kales.” Grown extensively before WWII, but seems to have disappeared soon after. Large and prolific; it is both hardy and resilient to pests and diseases. Delicious too, with a slightly nutty flavour.