Runner Bean, Moldovanesti Buffalo (Organic)
Phaseolus coccineus. White. 90-100 days.
Extremely productive and easy to hand harvest, these 8′ tall plants produce tons of delicious, large, white beans. White flowers are edible, and beans are edible when young as large green beans or when mature as dry beans. But we think they are best as fresh shelling beans. White runner beans go by many names throughout the world and are an unsung delicacy, deserving a wider audience. Referred to as Butter Beans in England and sometimes Potato Beans in the United States. Buffalo Bean is a common name for white runner beans in Romania, where water buffalo are still used as draft animals. We collected this variety in February of 2008 while visiting the village of Moldovanesti, in Transylvania, Romania, where we saw many water buffalo. Transylvania is known for having some of the northern most water buffalo. During this Seed Ambassadors trip, we discussed seed saving and biodiversity with many traditional farmers, and were blown away by the beauty of the region and the quality of the old varieties still produced by subsistence growers there.
Direct sow 1” deep after danger of frost but before the end of June. Plant at 4” in-row spacing with 18” between rows. Requires something tall to climb. Well-suited for bean teepees made from bamboo poles. Prefers cooler temps and consistent moisture Collect seeds from beans that are fully dry (also good as a fresh shelling bean). Shell by hand or by dancing on the dry pods, winnow or screen to clean. Test for dryness with a hammer – dry beans shatter, moist beans squish.
Runner Beans are cross-pollinating. Isolate from other varieties of the same species by 1/4 mile.