Source for 'Serbian Pole' Bean?

crnagora95(9)December 29, 2011

Does anyone have seeds for or know of a source for these beans? The author of Daughter of the Soil has grown them, and I have heard great things about them on various British forums. Any help is appreciated :)

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

The funny thing is, I was getting ready last year to give that name to an unnamed variety from Serbia I received in trade. Doubly funny, because it was allegedly a bush variety, and climbed 6 feet! It ended up that I didn't circulate the bean under the name "Serbian Pole", because I was unable to multiply the seed enough to share this year. As it turned out, that was a good thing.

Because meanwhile, in the course of browsing I found that there was already a "Serbian Pole", being grown by a Canadian gardener. You can find photos of the seed, pod, and plant here. This is an impressive gallery of bean photos, something I hope to emulate in the future.

Don't know the source of the seed, though, or if this is the same "Serbian Pole" you are looking for... it is one of those generic names that anyone could assign to a bean from Serbia (as I almost did). I looked on the DoS blog, and didn't find anything to use for comparison. I inquired earlier this year about "Serbian Pole", but have thus far been able to contact the Canadian owner of the photos. He has his own blog, but has recently been going through some tough times... I hope to make contact in the near future.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 4:48PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Looks like the same bean.


Here is a link that might be useful: Serbian Pole

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 5:22PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Agreed - thanks for the link, Annette. Looks like two distant growers - in Canada & the U.K. - trialed many of the same beans. This one has my interest as well, if there is seed to be found. Judging by the photo caption, it may be part of the Heritage Seed Library... if there are any HDRA members here, could this be checked out?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 3:41AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Zeedman, I'm going to attempt to email you, let me know here if it doesn't go through.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 11:39AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Annette, your email received & response sent.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 7:06PM
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Zeedman: Don't you love when that happens? I got a Bosnian bean called "Kukuruzar", the main part of that being "kukuruz", or "corn". I thought it would be a bush bean, and that the name was just a generic name. It pertains to the bean's qualities as a cornfield bean, because that grew!

Annette: Thanks for the response. I didn't get a hold of the Canadian grower, but it seems that isn't necessary now :)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 10:26PM
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The "Serbian Pole" seeds also look a lot like one called "Eye Of The Goat". You can check it out on a bean website I put up on the web. There is another bean also that looks a lot like this I grew years ago called "Bell's Stringless". Some people here on GW may have already seen this site. Both of these mentioned beans are also pole, or climbing habit.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Bean Collectors Window

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:34AM
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Hi Russ. That is one amazing website. So many beans, so little time! I will watch for your entries in the SSE Yearbook.

I hope you will post here often. - Dick

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:28AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

LOL, so many beans look alike, I've been wondering about this myself. I grew one given me by a member of our local garden club, the only information was someones grandmother brought them with her when she immigrated from Yugoslavia, I also grew this year a few "Serbian Pole" which I had a hard time finding, in the end a very nice gal sent me a few. The growth habits of these two although not grown close together looked similar to me.
Elsewhere there's a thread on "Grandma's Yugoslavian" the temporary name I had given the one I got at garden club. The dried seed I received looked very much like "Eye of the Goat".
The freshly harvested seed of "Grandma's Yugoslavian" and "Serbian Pole" to my eye looked like the same bean, I said looked like because they might or not be the same bean. I have never grown "Eye of the Goat" so can't compare them to these other two.

There were a few white marks on the leaves of the "Siberian Pole" I grew out in the garden, whether this was because of our lousy spring or something more serious I don't know, the vines grew and produced, the foliage other then the few white splotches looked healthy enough. I'll grow them again next year if I have space.

Hi Russ, glad to see you here :).


    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Hi Dick ! Thanks for the completement on the site, and thanks for taking a look at it. I have all my listings in the 2013 SSE yearbook posted. I'll be back here from time to time to chat with everyone.

Hi Annette ! Thank you to you and Shirley for getting me going on this forum I've been digging through some of the older posts and they are pretty interesting as well.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 11:45PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Just an update. Although I didn't get to plant many beans this year, "Serbian Pole" was one of them (thanks Annette). It is in partial shade & in the root zone of a large tree, not the best location... but the vines are healthy, and the pod set has been good. I have begun collecting dry seed 85 days after sowing. The pods are 3-4" long, and contain 3-5 very fat seeds. I've really been tempted to try the shellies - and will! - but not until I've collected a large amount of dry seed.

In the process of shelling some dry pods, I observed that they were difficult to open - because there are no strings. It remains to be seen if the hull is still tender when mature.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 11:42PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Glad to hear they did well for you, I haven't grown them since that first time, and then it was just for seed, I went on a search for them and finally found someone that would part with a few seeds (thanks wolfcub).
The seed coat looks similar to half a dozen or so other varieties I have but that doesn't mean they are the same bean. I don't have the room to grow them all out to compare but someone else down island from me is this year, just waiting to hear her observations.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 9:03AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Today was the final harvest. Have 2 pounds of dry seed already shelled, maybe about another 6-8 ounces still drying in pods. All remaining pods were picked to trial as shellies, and to see if they would be usable as "full beans".

The first thing I noticed is that the fresh-picked ripe shellies are nearly impossible to shell... the pods are soft & just rip, they don't unzip on either seam. I literally had to tear the pods into little pieces to free the beans. After shelling a few raw pods (and realizing the futility of shelling large quantities that way), I threw the majority of the pods into boiling water for 5 minutes, then rinsed them immediately after removal in cold running water. Some of the pods had burst open, and the unopened pods could be unzipped by grabbing the stem end, and tearing down toward the lower seam. A weak string there (which was not evident before boiling) unzipped, allowing the beans to be squeezed out. Shelling the par-boiled pods went very quickly. I probably could have frozen the par-boiled beans at that point, but they were prepared for dinner.

It might require less boiling time to open the pods, something to experiment with in the future. Par-boiling might be a good way to free up other difficult-to-shell beans, such as runner beans... I will be testing the method on some full/green "Insuk's Wang Kong" pods.

The cold-shelled shellies were cooked first, then stirred into margarine and salt & allowed to stand for about 10 minutes, after which the wife & I tasted them. They were wonderful; rich flavor, sweeter than most, tender skin, not excessively mealy, and with no unpleasant aftertaste. Very good shellies... DW couldn't stop eating them.

Pods which were full but still green were cooked whole for the same amount of time as above (just over 15 minutes) then buttered & salted, and allowed to stand until just warm. Quite a few popped open, releasing their beans. They were very tasty, including the hulls... but those "invisible" strings were quite evident. I tried to remove a few strings prior to eating, but the beans pretty much fell apart when I did so. Since this was my first experiment with full beans, others might have better results. The flavor of the full pods definitely makes them worth more experimentation.

My harvest wasn't bad; there were only 15 plants, most with only 1-2 main runners. The sparse branching was probably due to the shade & nutrient depletion caused by a nearby tree. I am really looking forward to growing "Serbian Pole" again in a better location, to investigate its true yield potential.

This post was edited by zeedman on Sun, Sep 7, 14 at 23:56

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 11:22PM
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