2024 Little Easy Bean Network - Growing Heirloom Beans Of Today And Tomorrow

Blue-Jay

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Hello everyone and hello 2024 ! We are now into our 12th season of this thread with great growers and contributors. Thank you all who have become part of our history and those who grace our pages with their current contributions. I think we all have so much enjoyment and pleasure in what we all do and share here.

Yes we grow the heirlooms of today and tomorrow. The members here do come up with new beans that will one day possibly become accepted varieties. Think of all the bean varieties that exist today. The USDA seed bank in Washington has over 15,000 accessions. Seed Savers Exchange with over 7,000 accessions. The country of Columbia with over 35,000 accessons. There are seed banks in a number of places around the world. Could there be 100,000 bean varieties in all the seed banks combined. Well maybe, and who knows how many kinds there are that have never become part of a seed bank. Every year we all run into more beans we have never seen before.

When humans began domesticating the bean there were not all these beans in existence 7,000 years ago. I bought a book on bean collecting about 8 years ago. The book was not about collecting the way we do it today by seeing new varieties online somewhere or by becoming members of organizations like Seed Savers Exchange or Seeds of Diversity Canada. This book was about going into the wild and collecting undomesticated beans. This book stated that today there are about 50 known varieties in the wild. The humans of many millenia ago probably had about the same number of varieties to work with. So where did all these thousands of beans come from. It had to be from crosses of beans that were domesticated creating new gene combinations over and over until today we have this grand profusion of diversity in beans. So yes we grow the heirlooms of today and probably tomorrow also.

Each year I have this priority list of beans that could be grown. Just a guide in case someone has a hard time deciding what they might like to try to grow. The 2023 list got worked over quite well. I have so many of the beans that are in my collection listed now on my website that this list will not be as long.


1. Barksdale - Pole wax. From Annette Barley of Nanaimo, BC.
2. Blue Coco - Only one sample of 12 beans. Could be split into two 6's.
3. Blue Spitball - Pole with small blue gray seed and black eye ring. Don't know if it's a dry bean or snap.
4. Cold Creek - Black and white Bush dry.
5. Freckles - Bush Dry
6. Fowler Pole - Pole Snap bean

7. Joe Bean - Pole Snap
8. Maria Amazilitei - Italian Pole Snap Bea
9. Menega - A Simcox collected bean from Columbia. Don't know if it's a pole or bush growth.
10. Old Joe Clark - Appalachian heirloom that produces very early yields of beautiful pink pods. Semi Runner
11. Rose D' Eyragues - Bush horticultural type that came from a market in France.
12. Serrano - 7 seeds in the sample
 
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heirloomgal

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Happy 2024 Everyone! 🎉

Beautiful opening post @Bluejay77 , a great start to the new bean thread!

And DARN! :duc I wish I had seen that Blue Spitball before I sent you my network list !!!! That is a dream bean that I saw you post about in 2021!!

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Decoy1

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Happy New Year to Russ, and all.

Interesting list. I’ve been having to cut down on freezer space and have just thrown away a lot of Blue Coco. Darn from me too! But I still have quite a lot left and very happy to grow again in 2024 without needing you to send me seed, Russ. It’s a favourite.

If our parcel makes it through, it will have Freckles, but I’m happy also to grow it again,

I have Old Joe Clark and will grow again, so again no need to send. Another excellent bean. My seed, originally from Artorius has two shades of seed coat, both quite peanut like. Just checking whether yours are similar.

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Do add those three to the returns checklist without sending seed.
 

Blue-Jay

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And DARN! :duc I wish I had seen that Blue Spitball before I sent you my network list !!!! That is a dream bean that I saw you post about in 2021!!
Your Network package has not gone out yet. I'm waiting for Decoy 1's package so I can fill your request for Fat Man. I can also include Blue Spitball and you can return it in your brown paper wrapped Used Cassette Tapes package. ;)

I also saw a comment on the 2023 thread about you wanting to grow Draper's Glen. Do you want to try that one too this year. It is still very unstable. I could send it too.
 
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Blue-Jay

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If our parcel makes it through, it will have Freckles, but I’m happy also to grow it again,

I have Old Joe Clark and will grow again, so again no need to send. Another excellent bean. My seed, originally from Artorius has two shades of seed coat, both quite peanut like. Just checking whether yours are similar.
Someone else grew Freckles and they found outcrosses. Typical mottled pattern I wasn't crazy about them so I am now eating them in this most recent pot of bean stew I made a couple of days ago. I guess if you grew it again I could just replace the same number of the older seeds with new ones you grow. I don't know how many more outcrosses would be found in the current lot of Freckles. I wonder if even something more interesting would be found among them. Maybe not.

Ok you can grow the old Joe Clark you have and I will include it on the Package Inventory list along with the other two when you request your 2024 grow out.
 

Blue-Jay

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I looked at the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center website and it also shows Old Joe Clark seeds in various shades. I guess this bean is like that. Were all the ripe pods red?
I don't know if all the ripe pods were red. I have never seen this bean grow.
 

flowerbug

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No I don't have such a list but maybe I should have. I will have to ponder on that aspect of keeping a bean collection.

now that your collections seem to be refreshed really well you can perhaps have a list of the network beans out that were never returned or others that you have a small amount or limited supply and could use some more.
 

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