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. All the beans below are Climbing French Beans, except for three Runner beans. Recommended donation per variety £1.95. Thank you for supporting our conservation work. Please order from November onwards for latest harvest seed. VERY IMPORTANT – please also see our notes below the list.
Large flat golden beans. Absolutely delicious taste. Pods that melt in the mouth! Only does well if we get a good summer. Organic seed. AVAILABLE IN 2020
Extremely prolific. Quite late maturing. Mottled pods. Good for pods. AVAILABLE AGAIN IN NOVEMBER 2020
Beautiful red stripy pods. For pod stage and for shelling. Prolific harvest.
Beautiful bright red, slightly mottled pods. These swell up with huge seeds, so good for shelling out for winter casseroles! AVAILABLE IN NOVEMBER 2020
Late maturing bean but worth waiting for! Really excellent flavour. Black seeded variety.
Huge harvest of purple bean pods. Top performer!
Purple pods and a really large harvest.
Lots of green pods. Polish variety. Great bean.
Yummy green pods and lots of them.
Very tasty snap bean. Pods can still be eaten even when the pods start to swell with seed. AVAILABLE AGAIN IN NOVEMBER 2020
Mottled pods for shelling only.
Delicious flavoured beans. Medium sized mottled pods and mottled seeds. AVAILABLE AGAIN IN NOVEMBER 2020
Very long pencil-shaped green beans. Prolific.
Huge harvest of beans for eating at pod stage and for shelling out. Dark purple pods. Lovely round pinkish seeds, a delight to shell out. Does very well whatever kind of UK summer!
White seeds. Flat green pods. Good flavour.
Large flat green bean pods of excellent flavour.
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.
Good reliable green bean. Seeds are light tan on one side and speckled on the other. Hence the name.
Unusual bicolour seeds, half white half speckled. Good harvest.Good for pods or shelling. AVAILABLE AGAIN IN NOVEMBER 2020
Lots of purple pods and early harvest. Good for pods.
Large stripy purple pods for shelling only. Plump seed.
A truly scrumptious bean for eating at the pod stage. Excellent crop.
Truly beautiful bean. Amazing pink pods which are delicious. Also lots of seed. Flat brown seed also unusual. AVAILABLE AGAIN NOVEMBER 2020
Unusually long slender pencil shaped green beans. Good for pods.
Dark purple pods. Large harvest. Shelling only.
Superb bean for pod stage. Also known as Berner Landfrauen and Cor des Alpes.
Large stripy black and white/tan seeds. Large mottled pods. Good for pods or for shelling out the seeds.
Purple pods and lots of them.
Also called Hyacinth Beans. Very decorative plant that can grow up to 2 metres. The violet flowers are attractive and the purple pods are flat, blunt and slightly curved. Small young pods can be cooked and eaten whole. Often grown as an ornamental climbing plant up a trellis or over an arch. Lablab purpureus - different species to French bean.
Large flat green pods slightly curved. Large tan seeds delicious in winter casseroles. Does well in hot dry conditions.
Beautiful red striped pods. Shelling only.
Striped purple pods. Good for shelling only.
Large flat yellow pods. Italian heirloom variety.
Really excellent bean of delicate flavour.
Very large flat green pods.
EYE OF THE GOAT. Large seed for shelling out for winter casseroles. Very pale whitish-brown seed with a stripe through like in a goat's eye. Late maturing but well worth waiting for.
Good reliable bean for late season. Many pods.
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.
A multi-purpose bean. Pick pods when young and tender and cook whole. Or leave to swell and then shell out like peas. Or can leave seeds to dry in the pods and shell out for storing for use in winter casseroles. AVAILABLE IN 2021
Many purple pods. Tan seeds. Good harvest.
Many purple pods. Delight to shell too. Unusual curved seed.
Striped patterned pods. Thin and flat. Great flavoured pods.
Very prolific bean with lots of very long wonderful tasting green beans. Our finest Runner bean variety for pods. S/C 16
Our wonderful white-flowered white-seeded Runner bean from southern Poland. Used as a butterbean substitute. The large seeds swell up and are a delight to shell out. This bean is only a shelling-out type. Dry and store for winter casseroles where they will readily absorb the flavours of a casserole. Piekny Jas in Polish. S/C 16 ORGANIC SEED
Heavy crop and early into production. Bi-coloured flowers red/white. All round excellent bean. S/C 16
Mother Earth kind of bean pods to feed everyone. Smallish pods but lots of them. Seeds for shelling.
Very prolific bean. Early harvest. Purple pods.
Climbs straight up fast. Great green bean. Prolific.
A great tasting bean and very prolific. Eat at pod stage.
Large round seed with whitish seeds with maroon marking. Late harvest. Prolific. Good for pods and shelling. AVAILABLE IN NOVEMBER 2019
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.
Black and white/tan striped seed. Pods also striped. Delicate flavour. Grown for pods.
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.
Beautiful trout-coloured seed!. Drying bean. Lots of seed.
Oval brown seeds. Large harvest. Terrific bean. For shelling or pod stage.
Bicoloured seed pink and white. Lots of smallish pods. For pods or shelling.
Smallish pods for eating, or mainly grown for beautiful maroon seeds for shelling.
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