can anyone help me find a source for 'fordhook baby'?

cousinfloydSeptember 22, 2012

I can't find my favorite butterbean seed any more. I was saving seed but failed to continue at just the wrong time. It seemed like such a common variety, but then it just completely disappeared. Can anyone help me find a way to get a start saving seed again?

Thanks!

Eric

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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

If no-one has any to share I think Burpee sells it.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:30PM
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farmerdill

Concur: available from Burpee. Also http://www.everwilde.com/store/Baby-Fordhook-Lima-Bean-Seeds.html

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:19PM
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cousinfloyd

No, they've discontinued it and even told me over the phone that they're not going to have any next year either. I've also already e-mailed Everwilde with no response yet. I expect they get their seed from Burpee or from the same source as Burpee. I realized a couple years ago when 'green goliath' broccoli seed was dropped that a lot of these common varieties that you see in half the hardware stores in the country one year and multiple mail order catalogs must all be coming from one source. All these retails points create the illusion of lots of different sources, but it's obviously all coming from one source -- now discontinued -- because when Burpee, for example, drops it, then no one else has it any more either (or they may have seed that doesn't germinate as well for one more year before they no longer have it.) It may be too late already to find that old remnant packet left on the shelf somewhere, but it's still a distant possibility. Or maybe there's somebody that's been saving his own seed that I can find. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:19PM
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NickDanger1

I did a search of "fordhook baby" lima bean seed and found a company called American Seed that lists them.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Seed Co.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:58PM
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cousinfloyd

Thanks, Nick (and midnight and dill, too), for the pointer. I called them this morning. Although it's listed on their website, they said they haven't been able to get seed to sell for either of the last two years.
I got an e-mail response from Everwilde, too, by the way, which confirmed that they don't have any seed either.
I feel pretty sure that all the regular commercial sources have long since dried up. I'm hoping a variety common enough to still be listed on Burpee's website can't be completely lost this easily.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 8:32AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Looks like a project for one or two of our preservationists or SSE.

Jim

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 2:42PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Found this while searching the web, pricy and don't know if it will pan out but if it's the only place, you gotta do what you gotta do right ?

Annette

Here is a link that might be useful: Baby Fordhook

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:12PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Wetsel Seed lists "Baby Fordhook" in their online catalog here.

These are other possible sources, which have carried it in the past:

E & R Seeds, Monroe, IN
(no web or email, phone (866) 510-3337)

Green Thumb Seeds
17011 W. 280th St.
Bethany, MO 64424
(no web or phone listed, free catalog upon request)

Meyer Seed International
Baltimore, MD
phone 888-503-7333

Surprisingly, no one is currently listing "Baby Fordhook" in the SSE Yearbook. Since commercial sources are becoming scarce, it would seem that this variety is endangered & in need of preservation. Not sure if I can grow it personally just yet, since I have other limas in need of renewal next year. However, I would like to obtain some seed to either grow out myself in the future, or to farm out to an associate.

Note that "Baby Fordhook" is the second commercial lima to suddenly become scarce in recent years. The pole variety "Sieva" also disappeared from the trade without warning. This really highlights the need for more gardeners to begin saving seed for vegetables they love, even for varieties that appear to be commonly available... it's not just heirlooms that are in need of preservation.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 3:28AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Eric if by any chance I find some I'll let you know, I've put some feelers out up my way, don't know if I'll be lucky tho... If I manage to get my hands on a few seeds I'll also pass them along to someone with a more suitable climate than I have for growing them.

I'll keep looking,
Annette

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 10:55AM
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cousinfloyd

Thanks again, everyone. I still haven't found any. I talked to a local greenhouse operator that resells Wetsel's seed, and he said they don't have any more. I tried calling Wetsel directly, too, but didn't get through to anyone there. The phone number for the florist in Raleigh has been disconnected. I left a message at E & R. I really don't have much hope in seed companies, though, not at this point. Things seem to disappear very quickly in the commercial circles. I need to find a hardware store that does a lousy job of maintaining fresh inventory. Either that or a seed saver. I ran a wanted ad in a North Carolina farm classifieds newspaper put out by the Department of Ag. That's my best hope at this point, but the ad probably won't run until December. Besides Seed Savers Exchange, are there other, maybe better ways to connect with other seed savers? I would have thought that the seed swaps, including the ones on this forum would be a forum for seed savers, but it seems most of the people trading seeds on seed swaps are just trading commercial seed.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:55AM
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remy_gw

Hi,
I did a search of member's trade pages, and 4 people have it listed. At least 2 of the lists are dated this year so you might get lucky!
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: Members listing Fordhook baby Lima

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 7:16PM
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cousinfloyd

Yeah, that sounded promising to me, too. I wrote to all 4. One wrote back and said she didn't have any left. I didn't get a response from the other 3. Thank you, though! Who knows, maybe one of them will come through yet.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:46PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Has anyone found it yet, it seems to be as scarce as hen's teeth. I'll keep looking for you Eric but so far no luck :(.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 10:34AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Are the Bird's Eye frozen baby limas Fordhooks? If so, I wonder if they will no longer be produced.

Jim

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:04PM
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farmerdill

No. They are green tinted baby limas. Probably Bridgeton or something similar. Best substitute for Fordhook Baby is the White Dixie Butterpea.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:27PM
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cousinfloyd

I got my hands on some left over seed but I could use advice now. I have about 50 seeds. They were packaged for use in 2009. The packaged says 80% germ in Jan 09. They were mostly stored in an un-air-conditioned house since 2009. Some seed from the same lot was planted last year and for whatever reasons (presumably poor germ but maybe also poor weather/too much or too little water...) they didn't make a stand. I don't know if any germinated at all, but if any did it wasn't noted. I assume if I can get just one plant to germinate I can multiply out this seed. I don't know if I can even get one seed to germinate, but I want to give it the very best chance I can, because I still haven't found any other sources. I've never started butterbeans as transplants before, but I'm thinking that may be the best way to go. What can you all tell me about how to optimize my chances?

Farmerdill, thanks for the pointer on the white dixie butterpea. I may need to try that as well.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:55AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Congratulations on the find, these might be the last or near to last Baby Fordhook in existence. Here's a link to a thread on germinating old beans.
Let us know how you make out and if successful I hope you'll share them with others so they won't be lost forever, fingers crossed for you :).

Annette

Here is a link that might be useful: Germinating old beans

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:19AM
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LoboGothic(6b SW Ontario CANADA)

Annette, I used the information on that link and was able to germinate some very old Henderson Red limas that had not germinated in previous attempts. Very best of luck, cousinfloyd. Keep us posted. I'm certainly interested in trading seed if you are successful.

Counting the days until sowing time.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 9:49AM
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cousinfloyd

Thanks for the link. If I can get these to germinate and multiply them out a little, I'll definitely be looking to share so that I've got back-up.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:34AM
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farmerdill

Ther is a message on the vegetables forum about an outfit called Ocean State Job Lot that is running a special on Burpees seed. Since job lotters normally buy discontinued items, there is a possibility that older packets of Burpee Baby Limas may still be out there. That one seems to a New England company, but there are other job lotters scattered around the country. We only have Big Lots here, and they don't currently have any seed, but I have found them there in the past.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 12:22PM
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LoboGothic(6b SW Ontario CANADA)

Cousin Floyd, Do you have any Fordhook Baby growing yet? Been thinking of you and wishing you the best of luck in saving this variety.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:34PM
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cousinfloyd

Lobo, Thanks for asking. I probably should have gotten some started already, but I haven't. I was just checking back on the forum to review the advice I got on how to start them. I'll try to report back. Realistically, I don't think I should hold much hope, but I'm going to give it my best shot with what I've got. Thanks for the well wishes. If I do have any success, I'll be eager to share with others that can back me up.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:27PM
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cousinfloyd

Well, it's been long enough now I think I can report a total failure. I had just over 50 seeds, I think, and I think I planted 26 with zero germ. If anyone finds a seed saver with fresh seed please let me know. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:30AM
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