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Cades Cove Stick Bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Grown by: Chelsea Askew in Mars Hill, NC

  • $5.00

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Greasy cut-short type bean with 4" pods containing 7 to 8 seeds per pod. Angular seeds are light tan with dark mottling. Vines grow to 6' tall, compliment corn stalks nicely, and are VERY productive. Nice shelly, dry, and leather britches bean. Grown in the Cades Cove area of the great Smokey Mountains since the 1800s. They are great for leather britches, an important preservation method in Southern Appalachia, where fresh whole pods are strung up and dried so as to preserve and concentrate their flavor for later. Also great as a shelly bean (when beans are picked fresh and full to be shelled and cooked right then), as well as a dry bean. Not only are these cut-short beans delicious, but they are also particularly high in protein and produce high yields without toppling corn stalks.

Days to maturity: 110

Seeds per pack: 40

Germination rate: 79% on 12/20/23

Planting / harvesting notes

Direct seed about an inch deep in moist soil, well after danger of last frost. Most productive when spaced at least 18" apart in-row. Trellis or plant alongside knee-high corn plants, usually in late May/early June in Southern Appalachia. If planting with corn, use exterior corn rows for trellises as beans perform best in full sun with ample 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.

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