The Little Easy Bean Network - Get New Beans Varieties Nearly Free

Bluejay77

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Hello Everyone On The Easy Garden Forum !

I have a large bean collection and have talked to some of the active members of this forum about the bean network formed by a fellow named John Withee back in the 1970's called Wanigan Associates. He had a network of gardeners ( about 400 ) that would acquire heirloom beans from John and grow them and send back fresh seed. His helpers ( members of Wanigan Associates ) would of course get to keep the rest of the seed crop. One of Easy Gardens active members ( Marshall Smyth) learned through our conversations that I had been a of member of Wanigan Associates back in the late 70's to about the mid 80's. He has had a keen desire to see some sort of bean network get started again. So since I have such a large collection of beans. Numbered at 315 and still growing. I Thought I would oblige the people on this forum and begin what I call "The Little Easy Bean Network"

So here is how this bean network will operate. I will post a list of 100 bean varieties I'm offering samples of ( no charge ) to be grown so their seed can be renewed. Choose what you might like to grow. It could be just one variety or if you have a lot of gardening ground and are an energetic gardener you may want to choose several varieties, or many. This year I will send out the seed to interested gardeners, and bear the cost of packaging and postage. You grow the beans you chose, and in the autumn after your seed is harvested and dried enough for storage send back to me "Three" quality seeds for each "One" seed I had sent to you. The postage for the return package coming back to me will be paid by you. A fun way to try out and or acquire some new bean varieties for very little dollar cost. The amount you'll spend for returning new seed to me will probably be less than the shipping cost of a good size seed order from a commercial catalog, plus you will have gotten some new bean varieties free. Now how fun can that be?

You can contact me to tell me what varieties you want to receive by going to my website http://www.abeancollectorswindow.com and you will use the email address found in the footer at the bottom of every page of the site, or send me a personal message through this gardening forum. Tell me the address where you want your requests sent. There is a page for the Little Easy Bean Network on my website. The address for this page is http://www.abeancollectorswindow.com/network.html. There are no links to the Little Easy Garden Bean Network from the other pages of the site. This will be just for members of the Easy Garden forum. Other folks looking at the website won't even know the bean network page is even there. However from this page you can look at all the other pages of the site, and still be on the network page at the same time as all the other pages will open in a seperate tab.

The seed you receive is in need of renewing and has darkened a bit with time. It may not always look exactly like the variety pictured on various pages of the website, but is actually the variety requested. The oldest seed for renewal this year is three years old. The seed you grow will probably be ten times prettier, as the colors will be much lighter and brighter. Seeds request for the Little Easy Bean Network will be sent out from April 1st to May 15th each year.

This little bean network will also help me renew seed of varieties in my collection that I can not always get to. Last year I had a bean garden of over 3,000 square feet growing over 170 varieties.


So go to the Little Easy Network page on my website to view the varieites that are offered for your request, renewing, and growing.

THE LITTLE EASY BEAN NETWORK IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE YEAR 2013. WILL BEGIN TO FILL REQUESTS FOR THE 2014 SEASON ON APRIL 1, 2014, AND WILL STOP SHIPPING SEEDS ON MAY 15th.

Thanks to all who participated in the 2013 Network. I will be looking forward to seeing the seed returns in the Autumn.
 

journey11

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Russ, I see two on your list above that I had narrowed it down to during our initial trade. (I put your beans in the mail this morning, btw!) It is unbelievably difficult to decide, that is for sure. I will not let myself get carried away and will let the others get a chance to jump in there, but for right now, I would like to have the Appaloosa and Top Crop. You probably still have my address and hopefully if you haven't sent the other beans yet, they can all hitch a ride together. ;) We really appreciate you putting this offer together for us. Thank you!
 

baymule

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I am so excited! I have such a little space for my garden, but I will make room for some beans. I want to be a part of saving a variety from extinction too!

Edited to add:

I just went through each listing, page by page. They are so beautiful! I narrowed it down to my 2 favorites.
May I please reserve one sample of the Kilham Goose and the Smith River Super Speckle?
An email has been sent, thanks so much for this opportunity!
 

marshallsmyth

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I am so much looking forward to doing this! For one thing, it is teaching me to keep my Bean collection more organized. For another, it gives an opportunity for me to help a major Bean collector to increase his collection while increasing mine. That has bigger meaning. It means varieties are given more protection with more people saving and growing them.

Makes me want to even more get another garden going to increase my growing space!

Thank you so much Russ!

Dapple Grey, white with a grey patch, and Chickasaw, yellow with a red eye and line around the crease are such unique Beans! Dalmatian too with its color variations of reds.

I've been working hard getting my soil in all my beds in bean growing shape, increasing the depth with compost, adding so far 54 pounds of bone meal. I may just go get another 50 pound bag!
 

Bluejay77

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Hey Journey 11 !

I think you are going to have to email me your address again along with what you wanted in trade for the beans you are sending. I was down in Florida at the time and getting so many emails from the attention on the website. I sadly lost track of your email. I keep a seperate folder for bean requests on my mail server but probably forgot to move your email into that folder. Yep all your beans can take a ride down to your house together.
 

MontyJ

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OK, I'm in but with a twist. Marshall, you pick out two varieties for me. I would like something that makes a good soup bean and/or a good baked bean. Colorful would be nice. Pole or bush, either is fine.
 

marshallsmyth

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I hope I chose right for you Monty.

Tobacco patch bush should be a good safe one. Says it is a good performer.

Winterfare pole looks like a very interesting one that originally came from Will Bonsall, one of the very important seed savers.
 

MontyJ

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That works for me Marshall. Tobacco patch and Winterfare it is. I'll grow them to the best of my ability, and hold my end of the bargin in returning seeds.

ETA: Email sent.
 

Bluejay77

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Hello Everyone !

The Little Easy Bean Network webpage on my website is finished and up. It really doesn't have a lot of additional information, but you can watch to see if any of the beans being offered disappear off the list as beans are mailed out. Two of the varieties are gone for this season from the original list on posted here. So basically you can use the page to check to see what is available. When beans of a variety are gone I'll update the webpage and take the name off the list.

Now the address is http://www.abeancollectorswindow.com/network.html Now I have trouble with some of my browsers connecting to that page on my Windows XP machine. All my browsers on my Windows 7 machine connect to the page right off the bat. If you have windows XP you might want to bring up the website first then in the little URL window at the top of the page after the forward slash ( / ) at the end of the websites address in that window type in network.html then try to connect. Maybe you will have an easier time connecting on your Windows XP computer than I do. Perhaps there is something finicky about my XP system.

So far I've had 4 quick requests for the beans of the network. It's now been a little quiet. This will be interesting to see how this all works out.
 
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