Turkey Craw Bean
This dual purpose pole bean produces 4-6" pods that are delicious when young, green, and snappy. When used as a dry bean, they are sweet, rich, buttery, and meaty in taste and texture. The seeds are a beautiful frosted brown and tan. The vines are often grown in corn fields. The story goes: in the 1800s, this seed was found in the craw of a turkey brought home in by a hunter that many report to have been an enslaved African American man. We would love to know more about his story. The Turkey Craw Bean has been designated by Slow Food as an outstandingly tasty, culturally important, and endangered heirloom from Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and is listed in their Ark of Taste as a way to invite everyone to take action to help protect it.
Days to maturity: 80-100
Seeds per pack: 32
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 1 inch, spaced every few inches in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to one plant every 2-4 inches. Provide a sturdy trellis as the vines can grow six to eight feet tall. Needs ample sun and good airflow.
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.