So I got lazy in the garden due to being extremely busy at work. It is towards the end of the gardening season and we left lots of beans on the vine. Enough to make a ton of seed for next years crop.
We bought our seeds from Territorial seed this past spring for Blue Lake beans and they were great. They were all round, plump, didn’t get stringy at all. The Fortex we planted were also great – got really long if you left them on the vine, but didn’t get stringy or tough.
So I decided to double check to make sure that the beans were OP (open pollinated) because when I purchased some from another supplier they were listed as FM-1K. I want to be able to reuse the seeds next year. It turns out that a lot of people have had to switch from Blue Lake Pole Beans because seed from the commercial seed providers are making beans that are largely flat and tough/stringy. Their excuse is they say the beans are reverting back to wild beans.
Here are a couple of other websites discussing this phenomena.
Article 1: Gardening: Time to shop around for pole bean alternative
Article 2: Some green beans flat and tough
I don’t believe that. I bet the seed from the commercial providers got contaminated with commercial bean seed varieties that require longer shelf life and they no longer have the genetically pure Blue Lake Pole Bean. Are we going to lose the Blue Lake Bean variety due to cross pollination? We’ll be growing the beans that come from this saved seed next season and if they are still great then we will be another one of those small households that saves seed and preserves genetic diversity.
Saving bean seed is very easy. Just let the pods get old and dry out on the vine. Then pick them and enjoy cracking open the pods and removing the seeds while watching tv!
If you would like to try some of these beans – they were grown organically with no pesticides (note that they haven’t been tested yet, so don’t kill the messenger), I’ll be setting up a paypal link to help pay for the padded envelopes and postage – minimal charges. Alternatively send me an SASE and I’ll get some seeds out to you. Would love to eventually hear how they grew for you. Email me here: Nina