Unusual and heirloom bean seed

The heirloom bean list below is for Bean Club members. You can become a Bean Club member simply by ordering any of these seeds. Thereafter we will send you an annual e-newsletter to keep you up to date with the varieties available for you to grow. We will also tell you about any new ones we will be trialling. Almost all the beans below are Climbing French Beans. Recommended donation per variety £2.75. Thank you for supporting our conservation work. Please order from November to mid May. VERY IMPORTANT –  please also see our notes below this list.

AURIE DE BACAU CLOSE UP

AURIE DE BACAU

Large flat golden beans. Absolutely delicious taste. Pods that melt in the mouth! Only does well if we get a good summer. Organic seed. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER  
£2.75
Seed-4

BIRD’S EGG HORTICULTURAL

Beautiful red stripy pods. For pod stage and for shelling. Prolific harvest. 
BIRD'S EGG NO. 3

BIRD’S EGG No. 3

Beautiful bright red, slightly mottled pods. These swell up with huge seeds, so good for shelling out for winter casseroles!   
BOLSA Climbing French Bean

BOLSA

Lots of green pods. Polish variety. Great bean. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
CFB BONNE BOUCHE 4

BONNE BOUCHE

Yummy green pods and lots of them.
bridgwater-climbing-french-bean

BRIDGWATER

Mottled pods for shelling only. 
brienzer-climbing-french-bean

BRIENZER

Delicious flavoured beans. Medium sized mottled pods and mottled seeds.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER 
£2.75
britas-footlong-climbing-french-bean

BRITA’S FOOTLONG

Very long pencil-shaped green beans. Prolific. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
caseknife-climbing-french-bean

CASEKNIFE

White seeds. Flat green pods. Good flavour. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
celinas-flat-wide-climbing-french-bean

CELINA’S FLAT WIDE

Large flat green bean pods of excellent flavour.  
CHEROKEE TRAIL OF TEARS

CHEROKEE TRAIL OF TEARS

Black seeds. Slim purple pods, good for eating young. Although the seeds are small-ish, they are great for drying and use in casseroles. Very popular variety.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER   
£2.75
debs-creek-climbing-french-bean

DEB’S CREEK

Unusual bicolour seeds, half white half speckled. Good harvest.Good for pods or shelling. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER  
£2.75
dinahs-climbing-blue-climbing-french-bean

DINAH’S CLIMBING BLUE

Lots of purple pods and early harvest. Good for pods.  
district-nurse-climbing-french-bean

DISTRICT NURSE

Large stripy purple pods for shelling only. Plump seed.
fortex-climbing-french-bean

FORTEX

Unusually long slender pencil shaped green beans. Good for pods.   
gramma-walters-climbing-french-bean

GRAMMA WALTERS

Dark purple pods. Large harvest. Shelling only. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
haricot-des-paysannes-climbing-french-bean

HARICOT DES PAYSANNES

Superb bean for pod stage. Also known as Berner Landfrauen and Cor des Alpes.  
italian-snap-climbing-french-bean

ITALIAN SNAP

Large stripy black and white/tan seeds. Large mottled pods. Good for pods or for shelling out the seeds.   
kew-blue-climbing-french-bean

KEW BLUE

Purple pods and lots of them.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
meuch-climbing-french-bean

MEUCH

Really excellent bean of delicate flavour.   
northeaster-climbing-french-bean

NORTHEASTER

Very large flat green pods. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
oro-climbing-french-bean

ORO

Superb bean for all round performance. Large mid green pods. Delicious with delicate flavour as green bean, or large pink-tan seeds for shelling out fresh and cooking, or leaving to dry for winter use.  
purple-giant-climbing-french-bean

PURPLE GIANT

Many purple pods. Tan seeds. Good harvest.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMEBR 
£2.75
purple-prize-climbing-french-bean

PURPLE PRIZE

Many purple pods. Delight to shell too. Unusual curved seed.  
rattlesnake-climbing-french-bean

RATTLESNAKE

Striped patterned pods. Thin and flat. Great flavoured pods. 
RNR BLACK DOULTING 5

RUNNER BEAN Black Doulting

Very prolific bean with lots of very long wonderful tasting green beans. Our finest Runner bean variety for pods. S/C 16
ST.GEORGE 2

RUNNER BEAN St. George

Heavy crop and early into production. Bi-coloured flowers red/white. All round excellent bean. S/C 16
ruth-bible-climbing-french-bean

RUTH BIBLE

Mother Earth kind of bean pods to feed everyone. Smallish pods but lots of them. Seeds for shelling.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER   
£2.75
ryders-top-o-the-pole-climbing-french-bean

RYDER’S TOP O’ THE POLE

Climbs straight up fast. Great green bean. Prolific.  UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER  
£2.75
SARAH'S OLD FASHIONED BLACK

SARAH’S OLD FASHIONED BLACK

A great tasting bean and very prolific. Eat at pod stage. UNAVAILABLE UNTIL NOVEMBER
£2.75
schone-von-richigen-climbing-french-bean

SCHONE VON RICHIGEN

Excellent bean for pods.
st-anthony-climbing-french-bean

ST. ANTHONY

Large round seed with whitish seeds with maroon marking. Late harvest. Prolific. Good for pods and shelling. AVAILABLE IN NOVEMBER 2019   
TARBAIS

TARBAIS

White seeds with wonderful texture for absorbing flavours in a casserole. Not good for pod stage. Please note that true Tarbais beans have PGI status. Ours have been grown in UK not in the Tarbes region of France.   
tresnjevac-climbing-french-bean

TRESNJEVAC

Round seed, most unusual colours grey striped with purple. Quite late maturing but lots of slightly striped pods. Pod stage but usually grown for shelling.  
tung-climbing-french-bean

TUNG

Oval brown seeds. Large harvest. Terrific bean. For shelling or pod stage.   

This bean list is special. Please make sure you really have room to grow out to the seed stage if you are growing more than one variety. Each variety needs to be planted approximately 10 metres from the next variety to prevent any chance of cross-fertilisation. PLEASE ORDER ONLY ONE PACKET PER BEAN VARIETY  (YOU MAY ORDER ANY NUMBER OF VARIETIES!), and do grow on some of your bean plants for gathering, saving, and storing some of your own seed for the following year! We send out once only the variety/varieties you ask for. It is important then to look after your plants and save seed from them so that you become independent of us! When you have plenty of seed, give some away to other growers and give them information about how to save seed too. Remember to label the varieties. Please order heirloom bean seed between November and mid May. Then you will get the latest-harvest seed. Our recommended sowing time is the end of May which will allow the beans to grow to maturity and set seed within the 4 summer months. We usually give approximately 26 seeds per packet and recommend two tepee set-ups of bean plants – one for eating the pods (approx. 20 plants), and a separate one next to it (same variety) just for seed-saving (approx. 6 plants). Give approx. 10 metres distance between varieties. See our pages on BEAN CULTIVATION and on SEED SAVING

You may notice that we now grow mainly climbing beans rather than dwarf varieties. Nowadays many people have small gardens with limited space so we advise growing a climber to get a larger crop for the space taken up. It takes a bit longer to get to the harvest stage, but the reward is greater!

Our own seed harvest is ready in mid-end November each year. We have to offer our bean seeds on a first-come-first-served basis as we have limited stock. If you put our website into your Favourites and check the list, you can best ensure you obtain the bean seeds you want.

NOTE  We reiterate that we are not year-on-year suppliers of the heirloom bean seeds on this list. We only send out these varieties (each variety once only!) on the understanding that some plants will be grown out for seed-saving for your future seed stock. When you have plenty of saved seed, give some seeds away to friends, write down for them the name of the bean variety, and ask them to grow, label, save and give away seeds themselves to others. If you are concerned about your success with seed-saving, we suggest you practise for one season with a variety from our organic bean list as we can send you these as often as you wish.  Once you get the hang of growing for seed-saving, go for a special bean. You can also have the fun of going to a Seed Swap event in the winter. Look online for your nearest. Growing your own seeds will make you friends, save you money, and prevent these old varieties from becoming extinct, so that future generations can enjoy them too. Easy to do ! See our web pages