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Full Beans

Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 6, 13 at 11:14

Bill Best gives this definition of "full beans":

"Full Beans-This is a term used to describe a bean where the seed is fully mature within the hull and the bean is ready to harvest. Heirloom beans are traditionally harvested at the full stage whether they are to be used fresh, canned, pickled or making leather britches."

He goes on to write:

"Heirloom beans, at least those of the Southern Appalachians, are typically harvested at the "full" stage, that is when the seeds within the hulls have reached near full maturity. We of the Southern Appalachians have depended on our beans to be a protein food, one that 'sticks to one's ribs'."

Gardenlad used to post here often and he used to describe Tobacco Worm as the bean against which all others were compared. Sort of the perfect 10 of beans. The first time I grew them, they did not seem to be anything special. The snaps appeared later than Fortex and Emerite. That's a negative. And they developed strings! Big negative. I did not even bother to save seeds (blush).

So I had shellies and I had dry beans and I had the Fortex and Emerite type beans.

Gardenlad once commented that Tobacco Worm was usable all the way to maturity when the pods were turning yellow and the seeds were fully viable. Shelly beans with a wrapper. Hmm. Well, let's try them again. And let's see how long Tennessee Cutshort is usable. And how about trying some greasy beans.

In recent years, full beans have been my favorites and I keep using them until the hulls are drying. My family members consider Fortex to be the ultimate bean but DW more than once spoke approvingly last summer of Anellino Giallo which were plump with black seeds.

The strings are no longer a negative and they provide an excuse to linger and enjoy the bean patch for a few minutes in the evening. However unzipped beans do tend to fall apart when cooked. Most full beans including all of the greasy beans tend to have strings. Anellino Giallo and some of the "fall beans" do not have strings and some fall beans are planned new additions for next summer. - Dick


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Full Beans

Thanks Dick, not being on Facebook I guess I miss a lot. Full Beans, I like that name for them, I've been referring to them as eaten with their clothes on :).

The first bean I tried this way was "Tennessee Cutshorts" absolutely delicious. Since then I've sampled both "Tobacco Worm" and "Blue Greasy Grits" as full beans and this is the way we'll be eating them from now on. Have you tried "Bosnian Pole" as full beans?

What other varieties would be good to try this way, I'm thinking all the ones with strings would work as they are said to be tender even when mature. Hopefully I'll get to try "Red Eye Greasy" this way in the near future.

Annette


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 6, 13 at 17:37

Hi Annette. The quotes were from Bill's website. There is not much on his Facebook page yet.

All of the greasy beans are used as full beans. It seems like strings and finest quality snaps go together, the exceptions being Anellino Giallo and some of the fall beans like Red Eye Greasy Fall.

I have not tried Bosnian Pole as a full bean. We end up using most of them as shellies.

There is an unusual bean called Striped Cornfield that was collected from somewhere by Zeedman. The pods are short and very fat and round. The seeds are spherical, like brightly colored giant peas. We have used these as full beans. - Dick

Here is a link that might be useful: Bill Best


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RE: Full Beans

I got Barnes Mountain from Bill Best a few years ago and tried for 2 years to get a crop. Heat prevented it. You might get a crop in more northern areas.

Pink Tip Greasy and Striped Hull Cutshort Greasy are both excellent flavored greasy beans.

Tobacco Worm is an excellent bean. I've grown it several times and enjoyed it every time.

DarJones


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 8, 13 at 9:51

Darrel, I have not tried Barnes Mountain or Striped Hull Cutshort Greasy yet. Pink Tip Greasy produced small snaps here but it requires far too long season or more heat than we have here in the PNW.

Tobbaco Worm is a very fine full bean that does well here. I have considered planting some around June 10-15 for a later crop. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

I grew up eating full beans and always preferred a half-runner's flavor to that of other varieties. Several years ago, the half-runners I raised were tough and inedible. Okaaay. The next year, I bought seeds from another source but encountered the same problem. Googling "not tough half-runners," I found Bill Best. Bill told me the commercial seeds I was buying were all from the same couple of growers, and they had become genetically contaminated. That October, I attended his seed swap in Berea, which put me into contact with other growers and collectors.

One man from Georgetown, KY, travels hundreds of miles each year collecting heirloom seeds. He carefully records and then saves all the information available. Each summer he raises as many of the beans in his backyard as he has room for. I've gotten so many wonderful beans from him, but he hasn't given me permission to use his information on here.

As for overcoming my dilemma of tough beans, Bill's NT (not tough) Half-runner and dozens of other varieties have taught me there's a world of wonderful beans out there. I've also learned that some varieties that perform beautifully for others are bummers for me. (This is especially true of tomatoes.)

I've raised the Tobacco Worm bean and liked it. The Barnes Mountain grew for me, but I liked the Big John better. I also liked the Turkey Craw, Frank Barnett Brown Cutshort, and Seay Cutshort. I believe all of these are available through the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center. They're a small sampling of the beans I raise each summer, but it's an ongoing process. I'm still learning and experimenting.

An aside: Fusion power, I believe I have your tomato, the DJ Special. The seeds were given to me by the gentleman from Georgetown, and it's one of my two or three favorites.
Juanita


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 12:56

Juanita, What part of the country do you live in?

I am south of Seattle so our summers are cooler than in much of he USA. So I am always looking for beans that do well in cooler and sometimes shorter summers.

Tobacco Worm always does well here and I am able to save seed. How do some of these other beans compare in days to maturity? I would like to try some of them but there is no point if they are much later than Tobacco Worm. - Dick

This post was edited by drloyd on Thu, Jan 10, 13 at 15:06


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RE: Full Beans

I'm in north central Kentucky. I can certainly understand your thinking. I've gotten a jump on our own growing season by starting some beans in cups or in float trays. It works well for me and might do the same for you.

The gentleman that I've gotten so many wonderful beans from is Frank Barnett. I talked to him, and he said it's okay to use his name. His email address is fbarnett@bellsouth.net. I think he could give you some stellar advice as well as provide excellent seeds.

I can't say enough for his Granny bean. I raise it every year, and it seems to do best when the temperatures stay a little cooler. It's worth trying. Good luck!


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 8:55

Juanita, thank you for the information. I noticed that Frank Barnett is on Bill Best's board of directors and there are many photos of his on Bill's website. There does not seem to be any sign of Granny there though.

I also start large numbers of beans in pots. It would be difficult or even impossible some years to save seeds of North Carolina Speckled Long Greasy Cutshort and some others without doing that. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

Perhaps it's the one listed as Grandma Barnett Bean in the Cornfield grouping.


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 9:29

I wondered about that.


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RE: Full Beans

Dick, you'll have to email Frank about his Granny bean because I don't think anyone else has it for sale. In fact, I know no one else has it because he discovered it in a rural areal of eastern Kentucky. I'll give you his address: fbarnett@bellsouth.net His prices are very reasonable. He has beautiful pictures and can give you information about the beans' growth and production. I'm not shy about plugging Frank's beans because I've had such good luck with them. If a bean is sweet, he'll tell you. If it's a slow grower, he'll tell you. If it's a "sorry" bean, to quote Frank, he won't be selling it.

As for the Grandma Barnett, she was Frank's grandmother, and in my opinion, that's a better bean than most brown striped. However, that's NOT the Granny bean, which is white.

I've raised a NC Long Greasy Speckled bean, and it drove me nuts! I don't know if it's the same as yours, but it was among the first beans I planted in 2011 and one of the last to mature.
Juanita


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 12, 13 at 10:57

Thank you again Juanita for the information. I have sent Frank an email.

North Carolina Speckled Long Greasy Cutshort is not the longest season greasy that I have trialed but it late. In our climate, the beans get plump and stay that way for weeks before the hulls turn yellow and develop their faint red streaks. They then hold on the vine for weeks like that until they start to dry. To save seed, I have to start them in pots and pick them as soon as they start to get rubbery and then dry them indoors.

The seeds are small and tan with brown spots and streaks. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 5, 13 at 10:27

Frank Barnett just sent me his 2013 bean list complete with great photos. You can email him for a copy at the address that Juanita provided above on January 11. He does not list DTM so I have asked him for a list of beans that he considers to be early. I'll report any information on that topic that he provides. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

Dick,

Thanks for this thread. It is an invaluable lesson for me. Somehow I had managed to miss the concept of full beans. I thought I knew the basics of beans but I only knew about snaps, shellies and dry beans.

Last summer I grew Tennessee Cutshorts. I tried to use them as snaps and had difficulty catching them at what I thought was the right stage for picking because they filled out so quickly. Now that I know, I will let them go into the full stage. And I will know I should do that with other beans of that type.

Jim


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 6, 13 at 9:16

I am glad to hear that, Jim. My experience exactly. Here is a note from Frank Barnett:

"Not too many years ago I believed that white beans always mature faster than the brown or striped beans. That is not necessarily true. Yes indeed some NC speckled greasy beans are late to mature. I remember one I bought at a road side market and planted seeds the following year. Long story short, I renamed it the Wait til Frost Greasy.

I was given some white bean seeds by an 80 year old man in Wise County, Virginia last winter which he called the Jimmy Mullins' Winter Bean. He warned me to plant it ASAP in the spring, which I did in May and it grew all summer and I finally had beans in September.

My longest maturing bean is the Grandma Barnett (Floyd County, Ky) or some speckled Greasies, but not all.

I plant about 30-40 varieties in a season, half in the early garden, I harvest and pull those vines starting in mid - July to early August and plant perhaps 15-20 additional varieties.

Maturity dates depends on the weather. In 2010 with a cool wet May and June , I was able to pick the Square House, Grannies (Breathitt County) , and Bill Stumbo 1/2 Runner beans to eat in under 10 weeks. However, if we have temps over 90 in June, 100 + in July, blooms drop and growth stops.

Last year I planted 5 striped cornfield beans (Aunt Becky) which Bill received from Boise, ID the first of August. It was a long slender bean. I saved nearly a quart of seed which I divided with Bill.

So, I'm not sure what the rules are, it all has to do with the weather, if there is a Theorem then that is one that is easily proved. Only 1 year in the last 5 have I not been able to plant the same garden twice in a season."

This sounds like a bean growers paradise. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 27, 13 at 0:55

Juanita, it appears that others agree with your enthusiasm for Granny Bean. They were all sold out before my order got there. There is always next year.

Frank's bean list has very fine photos of his beans. - Dick


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RE: Full Beans

I'm very sorry you weren't able to get the Granny bean seed. I talk it up with every gardener I come into contact with, so it's possible I'm at least a little responsible for its popularity. Good luck with your garden this summer. Juanita


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RE: Full Beans

I am a bean newbie!
I am slowly making my way thru all the old posts here but wanted to check in and say hi. I recognize a few of you from Tomato sites, Dar and RXKeith and others.

I am growing a lot of traditional, available beans this year, Including Insuk's Wang Kong, which I understand may survive my hot climate. I had wanted to grow the Red Eye Greasy but missed it at Remy's.

So, it is O.K. to email Fbarnett@bellsouth.net and request a list of beans he has for purchase?


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RE: Full Beans

There are several on line sources for heirloom beans. Sandhill Preservation has a good selection.

Jim

Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Hill Preservation Center


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RE: Full Beans

Thanks Jim, I have purchased many of my beans from Sand Hill, Sample Seed (Remy) and Native Seed. I am hoping someone could suggest a bean similar to the Red Eye Greasy that I could obtain fairly quickly and grow this year. Ideally, one that might take some heat.


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 0:39

Go ahead and email Frank. He will send you a pdf file with great photos of his beans.

Regarding Red Eye Greasy or similar beans, Russ Crow has Leslie tenderpod. The seed looks identical and the descriptions are similar.

"2013: 108/dry, Green pods round in cross section, 5 x 1/2" that wrinkle and tighten around its seed as the pods dry. Seeds are very rounded, medium in size, white with a red figure around the eye. Plants climb to about 6', Has been grown in the mountain region of eastern Kentucky."

"1994: first green pods ready in 73 days, no strings."

- Dick

Here is a link that might be useful: Russ Crow

This post was edited by drloyd on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 8:34


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RE: Full Beans

Thank you Dick! I actually had been on Russ Crows site before and I wanted Leslie Tenderpod but so used to auto seed ordering I didnt realize he sold seeds the old fashion way, like Sandhill. Wonderful!


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RE: Full Beans

I need to drop in on the Beans and Legume forum more often! This has been a very very informative and enjoyable thread!

I have Frank Barnett seed, which Bill Best had sent me. I grew it out in 2010 (if I recall), and it was quite good. My problem is that I struggle to keep up with all the good beans I come across. So, pretty soon, I'm going to start up a frozen seed storage area in one of our freezers.

Cherokee Striped Cornhill is an excellent string bean, just as good as the best I've ever tried. I received seed from Tony West (Blueflint), who I believe I met on this forum. But it is LATE, LATE, LATE for me! One year I planted it in May, and only started picking anything by the end of July. One year I planted 16' of it and harvested only 4 pods before frost. Yet I gave seed to a friend nearby, and she seems to get a timely harvest every year. I don't get it!

I remember the first year we grew Tennessee Cutshort, and Long White Greasy. We didn't know about letting them fill out. So we thought they were just OK. But when we learned to let them fill out... wow! What a difference!

Incidentally Dick, our son, Ben, now lives near Seattle. He's a veterinarian at the Evergreen Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland. But he and his wife live in Lynnwood. I was thrilled that he asked for some seeds, as he's going to plant a bit of garden. I sent him Barksdale, hoping that the cool, moist conditions will favor this bean, which I struggle to reproduce in our Oklahoma blast furnace summers.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Full Beans

"I need to drop in on the Beans and Legume forum more often!"

Yes, you do! It's good to see you.

"...But when we learned to let them fill out... wow! What a difference!"

I grew Tennessee Cutshort last year for the first time. I thought it was just OK. :-) I'll try again and let it fill out.

Jim


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RE: Full Beans

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 22:27

Great to hear from you George! I saw your picture on Bill's FaceBook page.

Dick


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RE: Full Beans

Life is so full that it's hard to drop in everywhere I'd like. But this is such an excellent forum!

I'm planning a good sized planting of Woods Mountain Crazy Bean, for this year. I did a fairly large planting last year and discovered that they don't like to be crowded together. Production was much lower, per plant, and, I believe by the square foot, when I planted them at 6" apart in wide rows.

2012 was another epic drought and heat year for us. And, I've learned that when we have sever drought, my beans are much more prone to crossing.

George


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The value of keeping records.

  • Posted by drloyd 7B Western WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 21:36

Because North Carolina Speckled Long Greasy Cutshort requires such a long season, I had scratched it from my 2013 list. Then I happened to see this in my 2012 records regarding this bean: "10/20/2012 there are still loads of snaps and a few that are dry. This is now our main source of snaps and DW likes them. 10/22 covered the trellis with a blanket. 11/3 still lots of usable snaps..."


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