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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, October 10, 2014

Heirloom Beans


I know in most areas the harvesting season in your garden is over but last week I picked almost a bushel of green beans.  Every year I love to plant my great grandmother Grace Wagner's heirloom green beans.   If your going to plant a garden it might as well have history along with it.  These beans have been passed down through our family for many, many years.  My great grandmother was born in 1895 and died in 1982 at the age of 87.   I'm not sure what kind of beans they are, all I know is that she obtained the seeds from a man named James Blecher and they have always been called Belcher beans.    This is a climbing bean, they can be picked as a fresh green bean or you can leave them a little longer on the vine until the beans fill out in the pod, then they can be shelled out and kept as a dry bean.
 The Blecher bean blooms with very pretty white and yellow blooms.  They are an easy to pick bean since they are climbers, I really like that part.  This bean has an unusual wonderful nutty flavor.  My great grandmother knew this bean was worth keeping around, she passed them down to her children and her son, my grandfather passed them down to me.  It's now my turn to keep them going and pass them on to my kids. Alright kids which one of you will keep the Blecher bean going?


My mother purchased some seeds this spring that I found so interesting.  You may have heard of this bean before, it's also an heirloom bean and it's called Scarlet Runner.  It's one of the oldest runner beans in existence, they date back as far as 1750.


The scarlet runner has the most beautiful red blooms and are great for ornamental purposes. They prefer full sun but will tolerate part shade. You can also allow the beans to fill out the pods and shell out as dry beans.  On the Scarlet runner even the blooms are edible.





The Scarlet runner produces a very nice long green bean.  If you allow the beans to mature and fill out the pods, when you open them to shell them out, what a neat surprise, so pretty and pink.
Do you plant heirloom seeds in your garden, have they been in your family for years?  Tell us about the history in your garden.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Angie

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