Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We have beans!

In the spring, I planted two kinds of beans. Both were from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a company that collects and sells heirloom seeds and spreads the gospel with workshops and advocacy.

When I was pouring over the company's seed

catalog in March, I was so overwhelmed with choices that I opted for the "Virginia Heritage Seed Collection," an assortment of 12 organic and open-pollinated seeds associated with Virginia and the Appalachians. Since Virginia is the same growing zone as Tennessee, I thought the seeds would do well here too.

Anna arrived home from Brooklyn in time to pick the first crop. We were worked up about our success!

The pole beans are a variety called "Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Bean." They are a beautiful yellow color, and the package says the beans have a mushroom taste. We cooked our first beans this evening, and I didn't taste any mushroom flavor and the bean pods were a little tough. But when we popped open the pods, the light brown beans inside looked like pintos but had a more delicate taste. They were lovely.

The "Blue Lake" bush beans were also delicious, and the plants look like they might keep producing. I'm going to plant a few more beans, in hopes that I can get another harvest before the first frost. I'm thinking the new plants might grow up the same poles.


  1. I have heard of Mushroom beans and have always been curious to try them. Even without a mushroom-y taste, you have convinced me to grow them next year!

  2. Yes, you should! They are vigorous growers so be sure to use plenty of stakes. I spent an hour last night trying to untangle vines. I used bamboo poles tied together at the top into a t-pee shape. But they were only five feet tall, so the vines are growing all over one another. I added another row of stakes behind the existing ones, but I'm not sure if the vines will adapt. We'll see!

  3. Anna is so adorable. Love the hair and spacer earrings. Have fun picking beans. My mom and I did that last night in her friend's garden. Fun!