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Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

Posted by greentongue Upper Zone 7 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 20, 08 at 13:28

Has anyone had experience with growing fillet beans in Arkansas... or in the south in general?

My typical greentongue "long story" background:

I bought seeds from a British eBay seller... one of those guys with fanciful descriptions of everything.... his seeds would turn your garden into a fairyland, at least!

His "Bobby Beans" are apparently a commercial variety... per his answer to my inquiry on variety name, they are known by number only and his seed is supplied to him annually by his neighbor, who works for a major agribiz distributor. He did not give me company name or number.

My MAJOR reason for the purchase was that he claimed they were grown in Africa for shipment to Europe. When I verified via internet the major African bean growing countries (Tunisia, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia), that suggested possible "setting in heat" qualities much greater than any American green beans I have grown.

I searched for seeds of similar beans this side of the Big Pond, ordered the following 3 from Territorial Seeds this week: NICKEL (old variety, famous for heat resistance); CUPIDON (a British gardener's favorite), and MAXIBEL (performance rated by Johnny's Selected Seeds and widely sold). Vermont Bean Seed Company had the most varieties and even had them in yellow wax colors, but a 25 foot row of 4 varieties will be QUITE ENOUGH to tempt rabbits, and with 2 that have heat resistance claims, I should learn a lot in one growing season.

Input appreciated! I have learned thus far that "bobby bean" is a size designation... thanks, zeedman!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

I'm going to be giving some Maxibels a try myself here in Texas so I'll be watching this thread for any input too!

RE: Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

I grew Maxibel a couple of years ago. They did well in the early part of spring but I don't remember them doing especially well in the heat. I grow Fortex now. They can be picked young for filet size beans or left to grow much larger, and they produced well into the heat, for me.

RE: Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

Thanks for the input. I grew Fortex last summer, along with 3 other Phaseolus pole beans. They all quit me when the heat reached 102 (bloomed but couldn't set pods), but returned to production very well when September brought a cool-down.

Noteworthy is that their listed maturity is 50 days or slightly more... not significantly different than listed maturities for other, larger green beans. There is FREQUENT warning that they must be picked very young, or they will become extremely tough in a short time. Traditionally, they are steamed and served whole... with butter! That kitchen approach would definitely make the most of any special flavors.

More web searching has doubled the list of African nations that grow Bobby Beans... and also learned that August is when locally grown crops will come on the market in Britain. Also several self-styled gourmets snurling noses at them in favor of "true" French fillets, with one even suggesting that Bobby Beans were probably good enough for the Dutch and German markets, but....

Still laughing....

Jan aka greentongue

RE: Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

while not known as a fillet bean, Rattlesnake is very heat tolerant compared to most common pole beans. If you want to try some very good multipurpose beans, Blue Marbutt from Sandhill Preservation are excellent. Emerite is a good bean for fresh eating as fillets but does not make a good canner. Musica is another bean that can fill certain niches at the dinner table. It is wide and flat.


RE: Fillet beans.... growing them in Arkansas?

Fusion_power, thanks for your suggestions on varieties! I have done very little bean shopping since I posted this original question; concentrating my internet hours on the pursuit of mild varieties of Capsicum chinense peppers , Curcurbita moschata squashes...and okras... and sundry vegetables that come from areas that should adapt them to 125 degree summers. The "knock-you-to-your-knees" heat of last summer is still vivid in my mind!

I did find a most interesting website source of Filet beans from France mostly... varieties other sites don't list. It's Gourmet Seeds International... located in a small town in New Mexico... WORTH GOOGLING FOR if you're looking for gourmet lettuces and many other vegetables as well.

I did increase my collection of filet beans by one with the purchase of a small pkt from an eBay seller in Western Spain ... and these are definitely not a duplicate of any others I have, as the seeds are smallest yet and white... about the size of a plumped grain of rice after cooking! I have picked out a location for them where they will be planted to have morning sun and after 2 PM shade from cucumber vines, which is best I can do for them to break the heat. I'm very curious to see if they will hold thru the summer... even if not producing in most extreme heat... or if I'll need to replant for fall harvest. I'll be splitting my seed supply to make both options possible.


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