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Snap & Soup Beansclick to see fullsized photo


No garden is complete without these easy to grow and prolific garden vegetables. I love the pole sorts best climbing on my bamboo teepees and fences. These members of the legume family also have the added benefit of the ability to enrich the soil.The are only hand grown and selected seed but due to space concerns, all of my rare and heirloom melon and 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.) We both share the same love of old fashioned heirloom seeds. He grows all of these beans for seed on his ranch 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. So look at all these bountiful beans you thought you'd never find again or perhaps never even knew existed.

All seed packs are $3.00 each




Cliff, my friend out west grows all my beans for seed for me. Here is what he had to say about this bean and its wonderful history. " ..white flower, 5-6 foot trellis, 1: 1 foliage to bean seed ratio, 100+ days, longer season, sets beans after Nadine's Greasy Bean, but before Luther's Greasy Bean. Dry seed, buff with bronze/brown speckles, yellowish-brown ring around the eye. Some seed has square ends, other look like normal bean seed. Twin pod sets, 6-8 sets per stem. Dry pods not quite as curved as Nadine's, are 4 to 4-1/2 inches long. According to W.W. TRACY, "American Varieties of Garden Beans," 1907:  'Early 1800s called 'Corn Bean,' about 1835, called 'Corn Hill Bean,' late 1800s called 'Speckled Cut Short Bean,' early 1900s, names include; Corn Hill Pole, Cornfield Pole, Cut-Short Pole. 1907,Largely used for planting among corn, more than any other variety, smallness of pods, not desirable at that time for a market bean.'

click to see fullsized photo

Cliff goes on to say: "Bill BEST says in his book "Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste," 2013:  'Cut Shorts are also known as 'Burst Out Beans', Cut Short describes what happens in the bean hull, seeds grow large in proportion to the hull, tends to square off the end of the bean seeds.'

Jonathan Welch, journalist for the Asheville, NC newspaper, Mountain Xpress (7-22-2009 edition) writes: "Greasy Beans owe their name to their distinctively shiny, fuzz-free pod, so cherished by early mountaineers that a bride's trousseau often included a few seeds from her family's unique strain."

Be part of maintaining America's wonderful bean legacy and grow all 3 "greasy beans" I am offering this year. Cliff says that they have different growing season lengths so you can plant all three and have fresh fresh greasy beans for a very extended season.

ONE PACK = 15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds

click to see fullsized photo LUTHER CROOKED GREASY POLE BEAN ~ RARE ONLY SOURCE! ~

I have a friend from North Carolina who came to visit me 2 years ago. She asked if I wanted her to bring me something from the Appalachian area she works in. I told her seeds, of course! She works with a food history website: and has amazing contacts with the locals. She brought me a small packet of shiny white beans labelled "Luther Crooked Greasy Pole Bean." I gave these beans to Cliff, my friend out west who grows all my beans for seed for me. Cliff was thrilled with the results this season.

Here is what he had to say about these, "greasy"  beans and the research he did on them: " white flower, white bean, 12 foot plus trellis 3:1 foliage to bean ratio, 120 days plus, extremely long season, must dry indoors if you seek dry beans. Usually 6 beans per pod, 6-8 pods per stem, super productive. Shelly stage, raw, beans have a pea like flavor, cooked with onions and bacon, bon appetit! Sets beans near top of trellis first, ever-bearing, continuing to set beans until frost."

click to see fullsized photo

Jonathan Welch, journalist for the Asheville, NC newspaper, Mountain Xpress (7-22-2009 edition) writes: "Greasy Beans owe their name to their distinctively shiny, fuzz-free pod, so cherished by early mountaineers that a bride's trousseau often included a few seeds from her family's unique strain. Such devoted guardianship produced an unmatched diversity of greasy beans in North Carolina & Kentucky highlands, with more than 30 varieties, still cultivated on small patches of mountain land."

"Luther Crooked Greasy Pole Bean" is a genuine Appalachian heirloom and probably never available before outside of that family. I was not able to find out any more history on this bean . I will also be selling 2 other "greasy beans." I will have listed "Nadine's Greasy Shortcut Pole Mix " with an 85 day season. Also the "Reynolds Family Speckled Cornhill Cut Short Pole Bean" with a 100 day season. Cliff says that they have different growing season lengths so you can plant all three and have fresh fresh greasy beans for a very extended season.

ONE PACK = 15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds



This old fashioned bean is what is called a half or 1/2 runner. It was grown for me by my "beany" friend Cliff. This is what he says in his own words: "Does not grow into trellis, but does climb. Think a 45-degree slant trellis might work best. Perfectly straight pods, 6-7 inches long. 55 days to snap. Pods turn red when mature at about 85 days, seed is light pink. Traditional mid-south bean that is difficult to find, outside of mid -south. This is a totally different bean than the pink tip 1/2 runner listed last year. Heavy pod setter, bean to foliage ratio 1:1".

It is called a peanut bean because the dry beans when cooked are supposed to taste like peanuts!


click to see fullsized photo BRECK'S ITALIAN POLE BEAN ~ RARE

Cliff, my friend out west, grows out all my beans for Amishland Heirloom Seeds. Here is what he had to say about this beautiful bean:  "According to HEDRICK, "Beans of New York" 1931, 'while it is a horticultural type, it is NOT the same as any of the other familiar 'HORTS'click to see fullsized photo (i.e. horticultural beans), during 1925-1930 several new 'Italian Pole Beans were offered.' 85-90 days, pinkish white flower, 6-foot trellis,  "good snap bean in four-inch stage, develops into a romano type pod, which can also be eaten… 5-7 inches long. Bean stem is very woody, 1/4-inch across, branches out more like a shrub than a bean. Pod develops red carmine streaks late in its maturity, but no red markings on the seed. Zebra stripes appear on the bean seed in the green shelly stage. Dry beans have stripes, bronze, green brown to seal brown color on a buff colored surface. Ever-bearing, 3:1 foliage to bean ratio, fairly productive."

Cliff also told me the name Breck's comes from an early Boston based seed supplier by that name who offered this bean. Just a beautiful and wonderful bean for for "shelly" eating like they do in Italy, or closer to home, in the Appalachian region of America.

ONE PACK = 15  fresh sustainably grown bean seeds

click to see fullsized photo**BACK FOR 2018! ** SWISS LANDFRAUEN type POLE BEAN

This is my absolutely favorite snap bean for taste, bar none. No other snap bean even comes close! I used to carry this when I first started Amishland Heirloom Seeds and have been unable to grow enough seeds to resell for several years now. I still get phone calls, emails and letters from all over requesting this bean. To my knowledge I am the only commercial seed source of the bean in the USA. These beans were increased by my "beany" friend Cliff. I asked him to help me to get this bean back for sale by growing it in a larger quantity than I am able to. Cliff is a godsend and sent me his stock for you. He calls it Swiss Landfrauen Type pole bean.

Cliff had this to say about this bean in his own words: "6 to 8 foot trellis, 1:1 bean to foliage ratio. European horticultural type of bean, most flavorful, best tasting of all pole beans that I have raised. Bares heavy concentrated clumps of pods, 7 to 9 inches long per pod. Violet blue blossom. Some pods can be almost totally purple/red with little green pod showing. After raising this variety for over six years, planting seed from the near purple/red pods results in normal mottled colored pods. Seed is not mixed up, this is common with this type of bean, some pods have more color than others. The same occurs in the Weinlanderin Pole Bean. Aggressive grower, outgrew many other pole beans planted the same day in very similar soil ... this is the best tasting of all pole beans I have raised!" And believe me, Cliff had raised a lot of different Pole beans. So, I am very pleased to say that I can offer this super rare bean again this year.



Good substitute for Landfrauen Pole Bean. I am now selling again the elusive purple speckled "Landfrauen" Swiss heirloom pole bean, perhaps the best tasting snap bean ever. I am listed as the only commercial source of this bean in the Sixth edition (2004 -last published-) of the Garden Seed Inventory. but I won't have a very large seed supply to sell this year and expect to sell out early. However, in a search for a close facsimile, I found seeds to the "Weinlanderin," another super Swiss heirloom pole bean. "Weinlanderin" translates as "maid of the wine country." I am pleased to report that these were almost as wonderful as the "Landfrauen" They won hands down, in all of Cliff's bean taste tests this season. Just fabulous flavor and aroma that is so lacking in beans these days. Pale green stringless pods have lovely purple mottling or streaks. They sometimes have fully purple pods, not a sign of crossing but just its growth habit. They will grow 7-9 inches long, but are best eaten slightly smaller at 5-6 inches. They have that indescribable European Mountain bean flavor. These are also a multi-purpose bean and can be served fresh or dried, and they freeze well too. My friend Cliff grew the seed beans sustainably for me. He noted that the ratio of bean to foliage is 1 to 1. Cliff took this beautiful photo as well. I have a limited quantity of this rare heirloom bean, so be sure to order early.


click to see fullsized photo~ BITTICK FAMILY RIO ZAPE POLE BEAN~ Rare dual purpose pole bean~

My "beany" friend Cliff grew this out for me on his farm in the Pacific Northwest. Cliff takes bean growing and history very seriously. This detailed history is what he had to say about this bean: "In fruit & vegetable trade language, the base color of a bean seed is called the Ground Color, additional color is called the secondary color. The ground color of Rio Zape beans varies according to the soil in which the bean was grown. So seed can be brown, light brown, buff, creamy white, chalk white. The secondary color on the bean seed is purple blue, which can be in the form of stripes, splashes, streaks over the base ground color. This variety is different from the "light brown zebra bean," which has brown streaks & stripes.

"Growth habit, 6-12 foot trellis, ratio of 1:2 beans to foliage. Pod starts out green, with faint purple streaks, streaks darken to very visible, at snap bean stage. When left for shelly or dried beans, the purple streaks diffuse, pod turns a reddish purple over the green GROUND COLOR, as shown in the picture. (totally different color than the pink tips i.e. Homer Nelsons which are pinkish red) Doc Martin is credited with the title ZEBRA BEANS, different, as opposed to Horticultural (mottled cranberry, wren's egg, etc.), as the Hort beans tend to be shelly, & dry beans with an uneatable pod. The BITTICK FAMILY BEAN, is very good in the snap bean stage, pod is not tough & woody. Bittick family resided in St. Louis, Missouri area, early 1900s. Bean is thought to have come from southwest usa native americans, but could be a european descendent of Weinlanderin, or Landfrauen." (also see these 2 rare pole beans on this bean page.)

ONE PACK -15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photo**SOLD OUT** ~BEN JUDD'S 'MRS. CLARKS SHORT CUT POLE BEAN'~

Here is a great old time bean from late Ben Judd, of Sparta, Tennessee. I grew these out a few years back and decided I needed my "Beany" friend Cliff's help to save these old time heirloom beans for posterity. Here is what Cliff had to say about them: "actually a cut short bean. Not a play on words, or a turn around of the words, Mr. Judd's note said: "A SHORT BEAN, BUT A HEAVY BEARER" -5 foot trellis, white blossom, 1:3 beans to foliage ration. 80 days, bears heavy during hot summer heat. Tennessee Heirloom bean worth saving." You won't find this bean anywhere anywhere else. **SOLD OUT**


Here is another bean I got from years ago from Mr. Benjamin Judd of Sparta, TN. My "beany" friend Cliff grew these out for me this season. Caseknife refers to the odd shape of the pods. This is a very old term for this kind of bean. They are flattened on one edge and curved on the other side of the pod. I have never grown so prolific of a producer. It is also, far and above, the tallest true bean vine I have ever seen. Mine have reached 15 to 20 plus feet yearly! I grew them on long 12-foot bamboo poles and the bean went all the way up and then all the way down the pole! This is a bean more suited to eat in the "shelly" stage (eat like fresh limas) or as a dry bean.

Grow a piece of history with this bean. Caseknife beans date back to the 1700's in the United states, and Thomas Jefferson grew several sorts. The dried beans themselves are speckled and have an odd spoon shape. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only source of this particular bean.

click to see fullsized photo**SOLD OUT**~GRANDMA DELLA'S CORNFIELD CUT-SHORT BEAN~

I received my original beans from Marie Icenberg of Rochester, Indiana. I gave these to my friend Cliff to grow and save for posterity. Here is what Cliff had to say about them: "pole, white seed, 5-6 foot trellis. A type of fall bean, 120 days before bearing pods, start producing pods late August-September. A shelly/dry bean, commonly of the type called "leather breeches" in Appalachia, as they were strung on a string to dry in late fall on the back porch. These are similar to Old Joe Clark Bean. Beans will NOT dry on vine. Beans out grow the pod, are crowded in pod, shape of bean varies from round to slightly square." Hence, the Cut-short name-

click to see fullsized photo SOLD OUT! LOOK FOR IN FALL 2019 POTOMAC POLE BEAN ~ Pre 1860 Heirloom from Virginia then California~

This is a great heirloom bean dating from the Virginia side of the Potomac River before 1860. After the Civil War it was carried west by the Barley family to Tehama County, California, where it has been grown for over 125 years. It produced long slender green pods, about 6-1/2 inches long which were slightly curved. These had excellent quality and flavor beans. The plants had a 1:1 beans to foliage ratio. It produced vigorously and heavily. It grew on an 8-foot trellis, but most beans were at the 4 to 6-foot level. It produced well in the hot dry midwest summer, but would really probably prefer a cooler/moister climate. It germinates well in cool soil and yields well in cool season areas. The seeds are a dark purple-black color, about 5/8-inch long and slightly flattened in shape. The huge trifoliate leaves grew 6 to 10-inches across. I grew up near the water in Maryland and Virginia. I actually, to my knowledge, never had this exact bean but I may have eaten it as a child without knowing it. I sure hope I did. Seed stock this year was grown sustainably by my good friend Cliff. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.

click to see fullsized photo SOLD OUT! LOOK FOR IN FALL 2019 RUTH BIBLE POLE BEAN ~ 1832 Kentucky Heirloom~ Very Scarce!

This family heirloom bean is from the Buoys family in Kentucky and dates back to 1832. The vines are quite long and bear heavily. The large pods, like many old time beans, may have slight strings. These are much better when tender and small about 3 to 4-inches. This year, our first, they grew on a 10 foot trellis. They have a 1:1 beans to foliage ratio. Bean pods are light green in color. Most of the pods were 3-5 inches containing brownish-tan seeds. 63-65 days. This is a great "old timey” bean that produces all season. It is a drought resistant “cornfield type" pole bean. Seed stock was grown sustainably by my good friend Cliff. The photos for this bean are also taken by Cliff.

click to see fullsized photo **BACK FOR 2018** HARWIG'S HEIRLOOM BELGIUM POLE "FILET" SNAP BEAN-

I was thrilled to get seed of this rare family heirloom pole bean, through my rancher friend Cliff out west. This Minnesota family heirloom was brought to the United States from Belgium in the early 1900's by D. Harwig's grandmother.

Cliff says: "What makes this bean so extra special is a quality have never encountered before in a pole sort. This is a fancy, filet-type snap green bean, very tiny and thin and only 4 to 6-inches long. The 6 to 8-foot long vines are absolutely encrusted with hundreds of these specialty gourmet "french style" type beans. You never saw such production, especially in this type of gourmet bean. Filet beans are usually on short, small bushes, and by nature not plentiful like these pole sorts. Heavy yielding and prolific is an understatement."

Fabulous, very delicate flavor make this a real winner for all you lovers of things French (or Flemish). I bet Julia Child or the most famous Belgian, Hercule Poirot, would have loved these baby beans!


click to see fullsized photo AMISH GNUDDEL BEAN ~ Early 1800's Pennsylvania Dutch/German  Heirloom
~ NOTE: This is sometimes spelled Knuddel, Knuttle, or Gnuttle Bean. -In Pennsylvania Dutch there are many variations in its spelling 

Famous seedsman Bernard McMahon offered this bean for sale as early as 1802 and it has been grown by the Amish for generations. Earlier in time, the Seneca and Iroquois called it the Corn Hill Bean and the Seneca considered it one of their oldest beans.It is what is called a "cutshort" because all the beans are squished in the pod so tightly that they have square sides.

The Amish use this as a dry bean for rich stew soups. Traditionally they serve this soup after their Sunday services to their whole congregation which meets in a local home each week. This is an important bean in their culture and in their meals. It is a half runner bean, not quite as tall as a pole bean but it throws out runners that twine around whatever is available, so the Amish often grow it with corn. It grows about 5-6 feet tall, with short pods. It takes about 90 days here in Amish country, or early September in my zone 6A garden.

ONE PACK = 20 fresh sustainably grown seeds


click to see fullsized photo click to see fullsized photo**NEW FOR 2018** ROBERT LOVITZ PURPLE DOVE BUSH BEAN

My friend Cliff, who ranches out in the Pacific Northwest, grew these out for me this summer season. Here, in his own words is what he had to say about them: "smaller, shorter plants than Purple Rose, does not need trellising. Flat round pods, a little shorter than 'Purple Rose' - some plants have small round pods, with dark brown seed, which are tender & tastier than the Purple Dove pods. Seed looks identical to 'Purple Rose'." An unusual bush bean with a poetic name that you must try!

15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photo**NEW FOR 2018** ROBERT LOVITZ PURPLE ROSE BUSH BEAN

My friend Cliff, who ranches out in the Pacific Northwest, grew these out for me this summer season. Here, in his own words is what he had to say about them, "Robert Lobitz Purple Rose Half Runner Bush Beans, 16-24 inches, does best with a small two foot trellis, prevents massive spreading. Best eating at younger stage, good flavor when cooked. Very productive. Robert Lobitz (1941-2006) was a prolific bean breeder, introduced 96 varieties of bush beans, most seed, very colorful, lived at Paynesville, Minnesota. So most of his beans do better in cooler climates."

ONE PACK = 15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photo TANYA'S PINK TIP BUSH ROMANO BEAN ~Hard to find ~

Another winner from Cliff, my grower friend out west who grew out all my beans and saved the seed for Amishland Heirloom Seeds.

Here is what Cliff had to say about this bean: "5 to 7 inches, light green pod turns ruby red, pink as pod reaches maturity. Best eaten as a snap under 5-inches, One set, not ever-bearing, 60-75 days. Seed color buff light pink."

Tanya was employed at "Salt Spring Seeds" on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver in British Columbia in 1990s. She found this bean as a sport, in a plot of Sequoia Romano Bush beans. Sequoia Romano bean pods are a dark purple.This is a RED pod turning pink. Not very many sources for this bean in last few years.

ONE PACK-  10 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photo VELOUR DWARF PURPLE FRENCH BEAN bush~
Perfect for Containers!
(matures in 55 days) Everyone's Favorite Purple!

Velour's pods are a glowing purple color, almost electric! And the succulent taste is even better than its royal purple beauty. A real gourmet treat from France, where they have the highest standards for snap type filet beans. This is a true miniature plant with round pods 1-inch in diameter that grow 5 to 6-inches long. They bear heavily for such a small plant all season long. These purple lovelies are great in storage as they freeze well. And of course the sublime flavor is perfect sauteed or lightly steamed. Needless to say, they are absolutely stringless as well.

My wonderful rancher friend, Cliff, grew these gorgeous beans out for me where he had a perfect growing season (unlike here in Amishland where we had an unseasonably wet and cold spring, then a hot drought-ridden summer, followed by fall flooding). He also took the great photo showing their glowing beauty.

All you gardeners with limited space who are unable to grow except in containers will be thrilled with this new French wonder. It only grows 15-inches tall! All I can say is "ooh la la, Vive la France!"

ONE PACK = 15 fresh sustainably grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photoMASAI SNAP BEAN- Mini French Filet Bean.

This is a super gourmet mini french filet bean. It's ready to pick at at 50 days. It is vigorous, fast growing, and very heavy bearer throughout the season. One if its good points is you dont have to pick daily. The green 4-6 inch beans are tender and tasty. Plants are very compact, about 12-14 inches tall, and will work very well even in containers. You get dozens of beans per small plant. They bear from mid-summer till frost. In fact, fall crops are just as heavy as in summer. I have tried many mini french filet beans, and MASAI is my favorite filet! This is another of the wonderful beans grown sustainably for me by my great bean friend, Cliff.

ONE PACK = 20 fresh organically grown bean seeds.

click to see fullsized photo


Here is another of Cliff's rare beans he grew for me. Here, in quotes, in his own words, is the history from his extensive research: "70-80 days, 20 inches high, roundish pod not flat like most romanos, shiny, round midnight blue seed. Very tasty as a cooked bean, (steamed them whole, not snapped). Canada lists bean as endangered. I assume that this is also a Canadian bean. Mrs. Marotti emigrated from Sicily over 80 years ago, and brought her favorite bean seed to her new world location. I can not find any other info, after an extensive web search. Heirloom romano beans are very hard to find, as most have lost their identity over the years. (I have been searching for more heirloom romanos, and as of yet, have not found very many). As bean starts to dry, pods have very light red streaks. Flower is white. Sets beans all at once, so it is a one shot crop bean. We need to spread this bean into as many hands as possible."

click to see fullsized photo SOLD OUT! LOOK FOR IN FALL 2019
WHITE SETTLER BUSH BEAN aka COVELO RESERVATION BEAN One of 2 SOURCES IN USA~ Rare and Endangered Variety ~Very Limited Quantities~Order Early!~

Here is another great rare bean grown for me by Cliff. Here, in his own words, is what he says: "from Humbolt County, CA. Bush filet, 15-20 inches, does best in hot dry climates, excellent snap & dry bean. Covelo is indian reservation in northern CA, where the bean was found by an organic farmer named Chris Balz. He had the bean researched at U of CA, Davis campus, and it did not correlate with any known beans in their collection. RARE/ENDANGERED BEAN." I was also able to find a bit more information on this little bean. Although beans are a new world crop they actually weren't grown in Northern California until after the "white settlers" (i.e. Europeans) came. These roundish, shiny brown beans come from the Covelo Reservation in California's Round Valley. Therefore, on the reservation they came to be called "white settler bean." No one knows the actual travel route these beans made. Perhaps they came directly from Mexico or maybe they made their way to Europe and then travelled back with the Italian farmers who came to farm this small valley. But they were carefully saved and preserved all these years. And now, thanks to Cliff, you can grow a piece of this rare California history.


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