Frijol Rojo de Seda (Red Silk Bean)
Frijol Rojo de Seda is a silky, smooth, sweet red bean just like the name says. It is super important in kitchens throughout Central America as it is sweet and considered one of the tastiest beans. It is also called Salvadoran Red Bean, y cuando yo preguntè a mi amiga Salvadoreña Nadia, she said it’s her favorite, and one of the only foods she cooks. Here is her recipe: cook the dry beans overnight in a crock pot with 'consume de pollo,' half a red onion, and half a head of garlic. Serve with 'Crema Salvadoreña.' Grow this variety on tall trellises - it loves to climb. Many of the seeds available for this variety have been grown in El Salvador. This seed stock has been acclimated to Pennsylvania for the last couple decades, first by William Woys Weaver, and now by me for Truelove Seeds.
Days to maturity: 85
Seeds per pack: 40
Planting / harvesting notes
Plant in warm soil at least a couple weeks after the last danger of frost has passed. Sow directly in the ground at a depth of one inch, spaced every few inches in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to one plant every four to six inches. Provide a sturdy trellis as the vines can grow six to eight feet tall. In my hoop house with drip irrigation and constant summer heat, they grew at least 12 feet tall on strings to the ceiling!
Seed keeping notes
Beans are self-pollinating, though it is best to isolate different varieties of P. vulgaris by at least 25 feet (we do 75 feet to be sure) to avoid unwanted cross-pollination from flying insects. For seed saving, harvest the beans when their shells have become dried and crispy on the plants. Lay out the pods in a dry, sunny place to dry down further. Shell the beans and lay out the seeds in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight for at least another few days to a week before storing for next year.