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Runner Bean, British Pop (Organic)$3.80–$6.80
Phaseolus coccineus. Mix. 70-90 days.
A genetically diverse population of edible-pod type runner beans from the British Isles. We have loved growing runner beans from across the pond for some time now and with so many good ones in our trials, we decided to let the best coalesce into one big British Pop mix. Our favorites in this crossed-up mix are Tenderstar, Prizewinner, White Emergo, and Polestar. We have selected for vigor, yield, and a diversity of seed coat color – a rainbow of lavender pastels, black, white, tan, and speckles that are hard to describe. While the long and tender green pods are the main crop for this variety, the fresh shelled and dry beans themselves are also delicious. Since they are more tolerant of cooler weather conditions than common beans, they may grow back as a “perennial vegetable” if the ground doesn’t freeze too deep in winter.
Runner Bean, Moldovanesti Buffalo (Organic)$3.80–$6.80
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 white water buffalos are still used as draft animals. We saw many water buffalos during our visit there and Transylvania is known for having some of the northern most water buffalos. We collected this variety in February of 2008 while visiting the village of Moldovanesti, in Transylvania, Romania. During this Seed Ambassadors trip we discussed seed saving and biodiversity with many traditional farmers and we were blown away by the beauty of the region, and the quality of the old varieties still produced by subsistence growers there.