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LIMA, RUNNER AND YARD LONG BEANSclick to see fullsized photo


No garden is complete without these easy to grow and prolific garden vegetables. The bean varieties here are the other sorts that are not the usual snap and soup beans which I have on my other bean page.

There are the endlessly prolific and tasty Yard Long Beans which actually are in the cowpea family. And the wonderful tasty pole limas which are nearly impossible to find anymore as they are being dropped by the commercial seed trade. Plus the very rare Blue Speckled Tepary Bean. These are all hand grown and selected seed but due to space concerns, all of my rare and heirloom bean seeds are now grown out for me by my dear friend, Cliff. Cliff farms in the Pacific Northwest . He has a particular interest in rare and nearly extinct beans of many varieties ( and the nearly impossible to find old fashioned watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupes and honeydews as well.) We both share the same love of old fashioned heirloom seeds. He grows all of these beans for seed on his farm using sustainable methods. All of these lovely photos are also taken by Cliff. His help allows me to provide extra rare and nearly extinct bean seed to my fellow gardeners.

All seed packs are $3.00 each


click to see fullsized photo**BACK FOR 2018* TRUE RED CRANBERRY POLE DRY BEAN-
~ 1700's HEIRLOOM ~ Very Rare~

This is the rare heirloom bean that was rediscovered by celebrated bean collector, John Withee. He searched for 11 years for this bean after reading about a "Red Cranberry" bean in a 1700's gardening encyclopedia. He finally discovered it growing on a Mr. Taylor's farm in Steep Falls, Maine. These beans are fat and shiny and a wondrous deep cranberry red color that does not show up well in photos. These beans really do look like real cranberries, only a bit darker red in color. These are probably one of America's oldest bean varieties, probably of Native American origin . True Red Cranberry beans grow on stocky, shortish 6 foot vines and can take the cold and short growing seasons better than any other bean I have grown. They have a rich flavor unlike any other bean I have tasted They are one of my personal favorites not only for beauty but for taste.
10 fresh organically grown bean seeds.


click to see fullsized photoLIANA YARD LONG BEAN~ Old Market Favorite- Hard to Find-CAN TAKE THE COLD TOO!~ Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis

My wonderful "beany" friend Cliff out west has been growing these yard long (aka asparagus bean, bora, long-podded cowpea, snake bean, or Chinese long bean), for some time now. Cliff says they love the heat, but Liana also can take more cold than this species usually wants. It is considered day neutral so that means in the south they can be planted early for selling at market, or later for a fall harvest. Cliff does these a bit later in season for one harvest. This is not a true bean as it is in the cowpea family and grown to be eaten in the pod stage. They don't actually grow a yard long, actually half that at 1-1/2 feet, and that is what the subspecies name sesquipedalis (one-and-a-half-foot-long) translates as in Latin.

Liana Yardlong Bean is one of the earliest to bear in this species. The vines are an amazing 10 to 12-feet long. The pods, which may form just 60 days after sowing, hang in groups. They are best for cooking and eating if picked before they reach full maturity. When picking the beans, it is important not to pick the buds which are above the beans. That way the plant will set many more beans on the same stem. The vines will take longer to reach maturity than bush or most pole snap beans. But these grow so fast in the heat that they can and should be picked daily. The plants will produce beans until frost. Cliff grew these beans for me out west.

Note: Do not boil them as they get mushy, just lightly steam or stir fry them.

ONE PACK = 20 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds
(which are amazingly small considering how long the bean grows in size!)

click to see fullsized photo PRETZEL BEAN - aka Ram's Horn Bean ~CHILDREN'S FAVORITE!

This bean will be a sure hit with children and will impress all your neighbors and fellow gardeners. You have never seen anything like it. An old heirloom bean from Lancaster County, grown here for years by the Amish and the Mennonites mostly just for fun. The pictures say it all. It really looks like a green pretzel! Absolutely lovely decorative purple flowers are on the plant at the same time as the beans. It can grow up to 6 feet, so a bit of staking will help, but mine usually are about 4 feet tall. It does best planted in blocks rather than rows. Absolutely showstopping fun for all to see. (click to see fullsized photo)

click to see fullsized photoCan be cooked when young like string beans, but really more for show than culinary use. I guarantee everyone will want the elusive "Pretzel Bean" once they see it growing, and curling exactly like its namesake. I had heard about it and searched for it for years and finally tracked some down at a farm nearby and have been growing it ever since. It likes a bit of drought. I grew this at the Pennsylvania German demonstration garden at a local living history museum and it is so wildly popular that the visitors continually "steal" the beans. So I always have limited quantities of this rare and beautiful bean. This is actually a true vigna bean. Cliff grew these beans for me out west.

ONE PACK = 20 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds


click to see fullsized photoclick to see fullsized photo **NEW FOR 2018** ~ RUNNER BEAN MIX ~ Species Coccineus~Not a true bean

I am giving you a wondrous assortment of runner beans in this mix. These are so incredibly beautiful and extremely attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. I grow them all over my fences. This is a prime example of an ornamental edible. Runner beans were first introduced to England in 1633 by John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I. It has a pole bean running habit.
The locals here in Amishland in the early 1800's used to serve runner beans "whittled" into long shreds called in dialect "Schipple," and made them into a pickled form like sauerkraut called "Schipplebuhne." They also called them "Fire Beans".

click to see fullsized photoclick to see fullsized photoRunner Beans are considered an ornamental climber in England because of its rapid growth and its many lovely flowers. It will climb counterclockwise, unlike most climbing beans. The pods are edible as well with a rich "beany" taste if picked small. It has huge long pods which get up over foot long and are filled with these very large very beautifully colored seeds. In this mix they are in colors from purple, black, white and various mottled mixes of colors as well. They are often called jewelry beans because of their beauty. In this mix are some of each of the varieties that Cliff grew out. You may not get all of these in your pack however. Including: Sunset, Desiree, Painted Lady, Hammond, Scarlet Runner beans.

You will enjoy having so many colors of flowers from white, peach, bicolored red and white and bright red.


click to see fullsized photo**BACK AGAIN FOR 2018** WHITE EMERGO RUNNER BEAN,
also known as "Sweet White Runner Bean"~

Cliff, my friend out west grows out all my beans for Amishland Heirloom Seeds.This is what he had to say about this important and hard to find runner bean. "White blossom, white seed, 1/2 to 1 inch in length, long shaped, not kidney bean shaped, POLE, needs 8-10 foot trellis - plant in late May, or soil temperature of about 80 degrees. Originally from Europe--dry or shelly bean popular in Italian, French, Greek, Polish cuisine. Tolerates heat for bean production much better than most runner beans. Here, I did not start to set seed until late August when temps started to cool. White bloom very popular with hummingbirds."

Look in my recipe section for some great ethnic ways to serve these beans.

ONE PACK - 20 Fresh sustainably grown huge bean seeds


click to see fullsized photo ~BLUE SPECKLED TEPARY BEAN~ (Phaseolus acutifolius, var. latifolius) RARE
Click here for more detailed information from Wikipedia

This rare legume was grown for me by my friend Cliff, who has a small acreage farm in the Pacific Northwest. Cliff has this to say about it: "Small bush, low growing, does best with irrigation, needs a hot, dry climate. Originally from Mexico, SW USA desert. In the Bean Bible by Aliza Green, she says 'adapted to desert conditions. Quick growing with long roots that reach for moisture...grown in Arizona desert by native Americans, because of its ability to produce a quick, high protein crop.'" Cliff goes on to say: "Pods will shatter (open up on their own) if left hanging too long. Seed color, brown to buff to white with light blue speckles."

PLEASE NOTE: This is a very drought tolerant bean that needs sustained high temperatures to grow well.

ONE PACK = 20 sustainably grown bean seeds


click to see fullsized photo**NEW FOR 2018!** SNOW ON THE MOUNTAIN SIEVA LIMA BEAN

I just love lima beans and the sieva sorts are the small ones often called butterbeans in the south. These small pole limas were grown for me sustainably by Cliff, my rancher friend out west. Here, in his own words is what Cliff had to say about this lovely and hard to find lima: "long season, slow to ripen, 110-130 days. Dusky Rose with a splash of white under the helium (eye) pinkish, red ring around the eye. Old variety from the family of Rev. Roy Blount, Washington Parrish, Louisiana, from 1880s. Small seeded (sieve type) said to have a nutty flavor."

This is a very vigorous grower needing support, very heavy yielding. I think the photo says it all. It is a very beautiful bean. C'mon all you southern lima lovers - grow this one and keep it going for posterity!

ONE PACK - 10 fresh sustainably grown seeds.

click to see fullsized photo**BACK FOR 2018** VIOLET'S MULTICOLORED POLE BUTTER BEANS ~

Cliff, my friend out west grows out all my beans for Amishland Heirloom Seeds.This is what he had to say about these rare and hard to find "butter" (aka small limas) beans: "80-100 day, 3-5 inch pods, 3-5 seeds per pod, trellis, 7-10 feet, begins producing pods at bottom of plant, moving upward as season progresses, ever-bearing, continues to set pods until frost. Multitude of colors-red, carmine, white, buff, black- and nearly all are specked or striped. Originated in Banks County, Georgia, grown 4 generations by Violet Brady Westbrook family in Banks County, Georgia

Recipe for Stewed Butterbeans, from 1891 edition of WHITEHEAD'S FAMILY COOKBOOK:
Soak dry lima or butter beans, then throw lima or butter beans into a sauce pan of water that is already boiling, has salt in it, and cook about a half-hour if they are shelly, or one hour & a half if they were soaked.

Drain away water and mix in a little cream sauce, or butter sauce, or add milk, butter & salt, and thicken when it boils up.

Cliff told me these small limas have great flavor, good both fresh or dried. They also have good disease and drought resistance.

ONE PACK - 20 Fresh sustainably grown bean seeds

click to see fullsized photo**BACK FOR 2018** ~HUBER TWINS' FLORIDA BUTTER BEAN POLE MIX ~
ONLY SOURCE!~ Increased Seed amounts

My Mennonite friends Marian and Martha Huber are identical twins. They are amazing lifelong gardeners who make a living from selling saffron from their own saffron bulbs and flowers. This year they harvested saffron from over 6,000 flowers, the year before it was from 16,000 flowers. That is an unheard of amount of work to pick the 3 little stamens out of each and every saffron blossom. When I last visited them they shared 7 little limas with me. They were unable to give me any history on these other than they are used for giving color to chow chow, the Pennsylvania German pickled condiment or relish so beloved here in Amishland, Lancaster County, PA.

Cliff, my friend out west, grows out all my beans for Amishland Heirloom Seeds. Cliff told me these butterbeans were amazingly prolific and those 7 little beans produced about 2 pounds of dry lima seed!

Here in his own words are what he had to say about these rare and hard to find "butter" (aka small limas) beans, "Grown on 6-8 foot trellis, 1:1 foliage to bean ratio, very productive, 3-5 beans per pod, 90-95 days, ever-bearing, white with dark frost, black/purple circle around the eye, distinguishing mark, dark mottled seed, dark reddish/black seed, most likely mixed at some time with Penn. Dutch Red Lima.

W.W. Tracy, American Varieties of Garden Beans, 1907, last listed by american seedsman in 1901, not popular 1907-Southern origin. Tracy estimates seed line began in 1820s. Fearing Burr, 1860s, mentions a Sieva type, Mottled Lima, assumed to be a forerunner of the Florida Butter Bean. U.P Hedrick, Beans of New York, 1931, notes that around 1910, the lima became popular again. Hedrick states lima bean also known as Old Florida Pole, Speckled Beauty, Speckled Pole Lima, Spotted Butter Bean. The plants have WHITE FLOWERS, bean plant spreads 2-4 wide on trellis."

Due to the rarity of this nearly extinct butter bean I have only limited amounts to sell until we can get this in more production, this year it was an experiment that went very well.

ONE PACK = 25 fresh sustainably grown lima bean seeds


This Lima is small and very dark burgundy purple and has a terrific, rich chestnut yummy flavor. It is a very rare local Pennsylvania German heirloom variety. My original seeds came from my seed and gardener mentor, my 89 year old Pennsylvania Dutch friend, Eva, who passed away recently. Her family has grown these same lima beans for 5 generations. Long vines and very prolific. This season they "attacked" my 7-foot Butterfly bush and grew all over it! For those of you in colder regions who thought you couldn't grow lima beans, these may be worth a try, they kept pumping out until hard frost. Unfortunately, althought is was growing gangbusters as always we had a huge storm this summer that knocked over all the pole beans and literally yanked them out by their roots. I was dealing with a flood of 5 inches in my basement (which has no drain, ah these quaint old houses, so I had to shop vac all the water out) and wasn't able to get that garden till days later. So, I lost most of my pole beans with these included. My WORCESTER INDIAN RED POLE LIMA aka Peruvian Lima looks nearly identical to this lima and they may have had the same origin way back in time.


click to see fullsized photo WORCESTER INDIAN RED POLE LIMA~ aka Peruvian Lima
~SCARCE~ Very Limited Quantities~ Order Early~

(75 days) This was another great lima bean sustainably grown for me by my dear friend, Cliff. It was originally ground into flour by Native Americans, or served with red corn. In the south slaves originally cooked this with brown Goober peas (a close relative of the peanut) and red sweet potatoes for a variation of FuFu, African mashed dumplings. Cliff said he could not find this in the "Bean Bible”: American Garden Bean Varieties, 1907 by WW Tracy. He feels that it must have not been of commercial value at that time. Tracy states that the number of varieties of limas was huge in the 1820s, but many disappeared, with most of production at 1907 in southern states or California.

Cliff said that the beans to foliage ratio is 1:1. He found it most productive and grew his on a 10 foot trellis, and said it bears all the way up the trellis. He also notes it does have wild traits; pods do open when they are dry. This trait is called "shattering." There are 3-4 seeds per pod and they are a beautiful deep, nearly purple red color. Sorry, Cliff said his photo isn't the best. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.

ONE PACK= 20 fresh sustainably grown lima bean seeds.


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