Does anyone have any info about these varieties: Garrafal Oro and Granny's Purple Pod? I couldn't find anything. (and thanks again tormato for the seeds!)
To find more info, try searching for the alternate spelling, "Garafal Oro". It is a pole Romano-type, with rampant vines & a high yield. It also appears to be rust resistant; during a very bad bean year (excessive rain) it was 1 of 2 varieties that survived without disease. For taste, I would rank it as one of the best, with a sweet bean/pea flavor.
I've just sent seed for "Garafal Oro" to several locations in the West, I'm curious to see how it performs out there... especially in hot-summer areas.
Sorry, can't help you with the "Granny's".
Like zeedman, I consider Garrafal Oro "one of the best" for taste. I rate Jeminez #1.
I can't help you with "Granny's", either. The seed is new to me this year, so we'll both have to find out. I am expecting purple pods, though. :)
Need any help with Emerite, Meraviglia de Venezia, or Rattlesnake?
Thanks for the info zeedman. Garafal Oro sounds very intersting to me. I am also in the West so we'll see how they do.
Gary, thanks for letting me know about the "Granny's". I tried to do some research on the different kinds you gave me and took some notes. Here's what I have:
Jeminez: Wonderful flavor. Snap bean. Green pods with red stripes. Heavy yield.
Marvel of Venice: From Italy. 9" by 3/4" flat yellow pods w/ black seeds. Heavy yield.
Garafal Oro: 8" green pods. Stringless flat beans. Climbs 10'-12' tall. Heavy yield. Wonderful sweet flavor. Rust resistant.
Emerite: Heavy yield. 8" green stringless round, very thin pods. From France. Cascading clusters of beans. Rose pink blossoms.
Rattlesnake: Snap or dry bean. Purple/pink blossoms. Prefers heat and humidity. Climbs 10' tall.
Granny's Purple Pod: Likely to have purple pods. :)
Is all of this correct? I'll take any other info you have to offer. How did these do for you? Are all of these from Europe? Also, since I'll mainly be growing these to save the seeds, how risky is cross-pollination? Should I only grow one kind this year? Thanks for your help.
Of the other beans listed, I have also grown "Jeminez", "Rattlesnake", and "Emerite".
"Rattlesnake" had a wonderful flavor raw, good fresh-cooked, and fair quality frozen. In the same bad bean year mentioned previously, it suffered during the rains... but rebounded well once they had ended. It is very popular with many Southern GW members, for its ability to tolerate heat.
"Emerite" has good cool-soil germination, so it is a good choice for early plantings, or short-season areas. It is a "filet" type bean, bred for harvest when very thin... but if allowed to get larger, it will still remain stringless for a long time. The beans are very straight & firm, and are, I believe, one of the best for overall quality. They have the best frozen quality of any bean I have grown. A good choice for dilly beans.
I grew "Jeminez" from seed sent to me by an SSE member. It was the most heavily-crossed bean seed I have ever grown, with so much variation in pod & seed that I could not identify what it was really supposed to look like! It is, in fact my "poster child" for bean crossing. This degree of crossing in beans is very unusual; the variety may be especially prone, perhaps due to flower structure. Several others have reported similar experiences, so if intending to save seed, you should place as much distance between it & other beans as possible.
I do intend to grow "Jeminez" again, from commercial seed. Maybe then I'll find out what it really looks like. ;-) Quite a few people have expressed favorable opinions of its performance.
My first "Granny's" seedling is up. It looks like the vine and leaf veins may be purple, also.
I'd describe Jeminez as having magenta streaks, rather than red. This color is a very vibrant dark pink.
As for crossing, a study that can be found at www.springerlink.com/content/g53lh5673n205852 suggests a rate of 0.74%. My own experience is about 0.50% (1 in 200 seeds).
Zeedman, do you still have some of that "poster child" seed? And, would you like me to send you some of my Jeminez seed?
Tormato, the contaminated seed could not be saved, so it went into the soup pot. ;-) Like the variations in pod, the seed was also variable... from white, to black, to gray, to several speckled combinations. Oddly enough, the gray turned out to be a very hard seed; it did not swell after soaking, or during cooking. They could not be chewed. I had to pick them out of the soup, it was very annoying. As I recall, the original seed was black over a lighter background.
I note that the study quoted above was done in Spain, so I question whether the statistics are relevant here. Nevertheless, my experience closely parallels yours - in most cases, the crossing I've observed has been less than 5%, and usually 1-2% or less. But the exceptions (such as "Jeminez", and an heirloom that was over 50% crossed) show that heavier crossing is possible.
As much as I appreciate the offer of "Jeminez" seed, Tormato, I must decline it. My focus in recent years has been less on varieties carried commercially, and more on varieties in need of preservation. "Jeminez" is on my long-term list for trial, so I will try it eventually... I've got to find out if it lives up to its reputation.
Gary, that is amazing that the vine and leaf veins on the "Granny's" might be purple! Where did you get these seeds? I am having a heck of a time deciding which kinds to plant. I wish I had a whole field of garden space to experiment with. :) My garden is about 30 x 60 feet at the moment but I'm going to have to make it bigger. I will probably wait to grow "Jeminez" next year, unless I can squeeze them in on the other side of the house.
Zeedman, is "Jeminez" carried commercially? I can't find it being sold anywhere. Google doesn't know what I'm talking about when I search for it. That is an interesting experience you had with them. How far apart do you plant your beans?
Cowabunga, Sand Hill Preservation carries "Jeminez". Johnny's once carried it, but has since dropped it. It is fairly popular in seed saving circles.
Glen at Sandhill says in his catalog: "Jeminez... Delicious, but hard to get seed from." This seems to imply a problem with self-fertilization; if true, this could account for its greater susceptibility to crossing. Again, I may end up growing this just to examine the flower structure.
When growing beans for seed, I plant them 30-50 feet away from other beans, with flowers or other flowering vegetables between. A few times, I planted them even closer... but with several tall trellises between, each with a different species of bean (limas, runners, and yardlongs). In recent years, through this combination of distance + barrier crops, I have observed no bean crosses from my own saved seed.
All of the bean crosses I experienced from my own saved seed happened many years ago, when I planted them more closely. I believed then - as many still do - that beans would not cross. Experience proved otherwise. I continue to find crosses in bean seed sent to me through swaps... the false sense of security promoted by the "no crosses" myth may be responsible for the pollution (and unwitting distribution) of many tainted heirloom lines.
I have 5 old seeds of "Jimenez" from Thompson & Morgan (seed origin - Holland). Their coloration is like "Tongues of Fire". They are a little shinier and significantly bigger. I grew some out once and the pods were striped like "Jeminez" is supposed to be. I gave most of my pack away, as they were not the best choice for my climate.
If you decide you want the last 5 seeds for comparison to "Jeminez", let me know.
I've never seen Jeminez with black markings, only brown. Sometimes the colors are reversed, where the markings are lighter and the background is darker. And, Rattlesnake will produce both black or brown markings, in my garden.
I'm wondering if you somehow received an F2 cross.
As for "hard to get seed from", Jeminez has a very high rate of germination in the pod, for me. This occurs before the pod dries. I have to shell them at this time, to make sure I have viable seed for the next year. The loss can be more than 25%. No other beans in my garden have ever germinated in the pod.
I planted my "Granny's Purple Pod" yesterday under a tepee. I've never used the tepee method for beans but I thought I'd give it a try to save space. (See the photo below) Will this work? I planted one bean on each side of the poles. Do I need to put string or wire laterally across the poles, or will the poles themselves be sufficient?
Gary, I planted about 5-6 beans of each of the other kinds you gave me in a 10 foot row so I can see which kind I'll like the best. I won't be saving any of those seeds this year except for the Granny's which I planted about 30 feet away. Where did the Granny's seeds come from?
How did Garrafal Oro and Granny's Purple Pod beans turn out for you this year?
Somehow I missed this post until now. Fascinating! Gary, I have the Jeminez bean seed, you sent me, in my desk drawer. I intend to grow it next year. But, in light of Zeedman's comments, I will definitely give it plenty of isolation space.
For over 9 years I've been growing a black seeded Greasy Bean, which I received from Mark Futterman, a wonderful, but sadly, now deceased SSE member. Most years I would squeeze it in, just for seed, and that... late in the season. Every year I found that seed was almost not ready by frost. I've finally concluded that this bean must have originated somewhere with a longer fall season, perhaps with a prolonged cool damp fall. It may set a few pods in June. But it mainly just sits there until fall and then starts setting pods. So, this year, I tried something. I planted this black greasy mixed in with a mess of white greasy beans which produce much more rapidly. I'm going to do this for a couple years, in hopes of coming up with a black greasy which will produce like the one I had back in 1985.
Well, it should be an enlightening year. I tried to grow several plants of "Jeminez" this year from some T & M seeds sent to me by Carolyn; but the darned rabbit killed off all but one, and stunted that one severely. I got a grand total of 4 dry seeds... since I started with 5, I basically broke even. Did get to taste a few of the snaps, though, toward the end of the season.
On another thread, someone had wondered how I rated the flavor of "Jeminez" so highly, when my previous effort had been so severely crossed... well, now you know. ;-)
I am also planning to grow "Jeminez" again, provided that Sand Hill offers it next year. The plan is to start with known good seed, and to save a seed crop. It will be grown in an isolated plot, at least 100 feet from other beans. This will (hopefully) provide enough seed to test it for crossing in the future.
"As for "hard to get seed from", Jimenez has a very high rate of germination in the pod, for me. This occurs before the pod dries."
Interesting. I have had only one bean display significant seed abnormality under good conditions, a pole Romano-type called "Champagne". Much of the seed was sprouted, or had defective seed coats. I could only keep about 1 seed out of 5, but the yield was so heavy that it still produced about 1.5 pounds of seed from a 10 foot row. I think the exceptionally heavy pod set may have been part of the problem, and the defective seeds were the plants' attempt to abort the excessive numbers.
What I noticed about "Jeminez" is that the pods took a very long time to mature. If Fall rains are frequent, this late maturity could cause heavy seed loss. This happens fairly often in my area. Because of this, I usually save early bean seed, and use seed that ripens under less than perfect conditions for cooking.
I've grown Jeminez for many years, originally from Johnny's. Jeminez is remarkable in being very big and succulent, no fiber at any stage, luscious taste. But not good frozen. One year I grew some green beans that were rather fibrous, and they seemed to have polluted the Jeminez with more fiber in the pods and less magenta. So I found a small company, Synergy Seeds, and bought new seeds to get back to a pure strain. I've been growing them ever since and try to separate them by distance or grow in alternate years. This year I only grew Jeminez and had a poor crop (some vines nipped off at the ground, some apparently not getting enough water or eaten before growing) compared to last year when they grew abundantly up over the top of my 50' of trellis. I used up all my recent seed this year and had to let most of the good beans go to seed to have any to save. I'm switching to other beans next year like Uncle Steve's and some new beans I'm going to trial.
Granny's Purple Pod I've grown for several years. The pods are the size and shape of Blue Lake, but red. They are the earliest of the pole beans I've grown and moderately productive. Since they start bearing sooner they set seed sooner too. They also get a second wind in fall and produce some late beans. They are tasty and low fiber but have strings.
Uncle Steve's was highly productive, good taste, slight fiber, medium lenght to harvest.
Photo of my Jeminez from this year, what little there were-
I have plenty of Jeminez in the freezer. From a personal perspective, I was not that impressed with Jeminez. Here in the southeast, it was a rather heavy podded bean with too strong flavor. Only Super Marzano had stronger flavor. For all around general use, a very pretty bean, that can be canned, or eaten fresh, I grow Blue Marbutt.
I have a tentative bean growout planned for next year of Tobacco Worm, Grandma's Black Tricolor, Fortex, Emerite, Alabama #1, and maybe Neckargold. At a separate location, I may put in another 10 or so varieties. I am using basic separation of 50 ft between rows with intervening rows of competing flowering veggies to reduce crossing. As noted by others above, I get less than 1% crossing.
As an aside, the worst crossed variety I've dealt with was Alabama #1. The original seed given to me by a local seed saver had crossed with something similar to Rattlesnake sometime about 10 years ago. Even with the extreme levels of crossing, I was still able to isolate out about half of the plants that have all the traits of the original. It is a black seeded bean with dark green pods that have some purple on them. They are 5 to 7 inches long with medium pod strings on heavy producing pole bean plants. Flavor is exceptionally good. Nematode tolerance is the best I've yet seen, but heat tolerance is distinctly less than I would like. Given that I have re-selected back to the original beans, I am about to start a crossing program with hopes of crossing Alabama #1 with Emerite, Fortex, and Neckargold. These are three varieties that would benefit from incorporating the nematode tolerance genes.
Did anyone else notice Miracle of Venice with black beans posted above? I have a strong impression that it should be white.
I grew Marvel of Venice (Meraviglia de Venice) back in the 80s, from seed purchased commercially in Italy. That seed was uniformly black.
My seed came from Italy, Meraviglia de Venezia Bobis Nero. I've heard the white seeded Marvel of Venice may be an imposter, possibly being Goldmarie.
Here in the northeast, Jeminez produces a mild flavor. The reason I like it so much. I can eat it 6 days a week without tiring of it. I can only stand a strong bean, like Emerite, a couple of times a week.
Only 4 dry seeds of Jeminez? Most years I get mostly 5 to 7 seeds per pod. This year it was an amazingly 7 to 9 seeds per pod, and a few 10's. The seed size is a bit smaller with the 9 and 10's.
"Only 4 dry seeds of Jeminez?"
Between the late start, rabbits killing all but one plant & then topping that one twice before it could start climbing... I had only one pod of "Jeminez" dry before frost.
Unfortunately, the frost killed the beans before any of the Jeminez were fully mature. It did pretty well though, and they tasted great as a stir fry. There was never any strings! I will probably be growing them again. The one that disappointed me was the Marvel of Venice. I didn't have a single bloom or bean on the 4 plants that I planted. I'm not sure why not.
Dean: The granny's purple pod and the garrafal Oro did wonderfully. I had enough beans to share with the neighbors. I saved most of the granny's as seed for next year. You can view pictures that I posted of them here and here if you are interested. :)
Jeminez produced very nice snaps even when swelling with seeds. I was not able to convince my kids to use the larger ones for their families as they look like they must be tough even though they are not. Here in the PNW this would be a good multi-purpose bean except that it takes a long season to mature to dry stage. I could probably have saved seed by drying out shellies. Next year I want to start some some in peat pots.
My favorite beans all grow to look as if they are tough, but remain tender. It took me years to finally realize that those ugly pods were actually among the best eating. But this is only true of "tender hull" varieties. Kentucky Wonder, for instance: when it looks tough... it is.
I really should stay away from this forum. Been going back into the archives and finding some excellent reading. So this thread got me fired up about Garafal Oro and I checked for it online. Found it in Canada (bonus) and ended up ordering 4 more pole varieties. Anyone heard of Cocco Bianco, Rosato Yard Long, Limka or Di Spagna Bianco?
Hair of the dog?
Here is a link that might be useful: Lots of Italian Varieties
I have grown Di Spagna Bianco alias Bianco di Spagna. It is a jumbo sized white runner with shellies up to 1 3/4 inches long. It could use a longer season than we have here south of Seattle. - Dick