Author Topic: Another bean story  (Read 54 times)

Offline aftermidnight

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Another bean story
« on: October 03, 2018, 05:29:58 AM »
As a lot of you know the last ten or so years my interest is in growing heirloom beans and of course Gee's Aeron Purple Star runner ^-^. A thread was started on another forum my side of the pond on the heirloom pole bean "Ralph's Italian" once sold by Victory Seeds. It seems everyone who had this one can't get their seed to germinate, mostly because their seed is very old.
I bought seed from Victory in 2012 but had never grown it. One person did manage to get a few  bought the same year I did to germinate but the rabbits got them.
I pulled out my packet and tried every method I knew on germinating old seed to no avail. I went to throw what I thought was an the empty packet out , low and behold their was one lone bean in it. I put it on to sprout thinking when it starts to stink I'll throw it out.  Well. it sprouted so it was planted out although late in the game with what I would call a fortress of protection around it. It grew, climbed it's pole but no flowers or pods, we were now  going through a very hot spell but
it grew and grew, up it's pole, reached out and climbed the neighboring magnolia tree. Topped that and started reaching for the nearby Robinia tree, it must be 20 ft. up there and still growing. By now it had started producing flowers and pods. Along the way it had branched and is also winding it's way on a wisteria covered pergola.
A few of the pods are starting to swell with seed but it's going to be touch and go as far as collecting seed goes, I've actually put a clear umbrella over a cluster of pods to keep the weather off in hopes this will be enough to get them to the stage where seed will be viable. I've given it the nicname "Only the Lonely" As it looks like it may be the only one in existence. Fingers crossed.

Annette
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Annette

Offline Jasonofaskwiff

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Re: Another bean story
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 07:50:14 AM »
Hi Annette great work keeping that bean going I think you must be a step ahead of the game as I believe it victory seeds may have dropped the ball on that 1  I thought the company should look after /preserve heirloom varieties (I'm sure other companies are guilty of the same) & now they are offering a waiting list for 2020 season ??? Apparently this been was part of the mark futterman  collection which they are apparently in possession of maybe you want to look up his work (if you haven't already ) he was collecting heirlooms until handing it over to victory  all the best Jason

Offline Jasonofaskwiff

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Re: Another bean story
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 05:50:01 PM »
Sorry all probanly in wrong section for this question but relates a little what ever happened to PEER GYNT Brussels have they gone completely I thought they would be an heirloom strain ?

Offline aftermidnight

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Re: Another bean story
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 07:32:26 PM »
Jason, Victory Seeds plan on growing again in 2020, as far as I know their last grow out was in 2009 but they have seed in storage. I know through the forums the fellow who first gave this variety to Victory, we have traded bean seed back and forth for a few years. I grow his family heirloom "Barksdale" a wax pole bean every year, wasn't a big fan of wax beans until I tried this one.
If successful I would like to send some fresh seed back to him as he too has lost it. We had our first frost yesterday morning, but everything looks ok so far, the weather for the next 2 weeks looks promising but have to say it's beginning to be a bit of a nail biter.

So many good heirlooms  had disappeared over the years, like the little Comtesse de Chambord, once very popular in Eastern Canada. I read an article on these and of course went looking for seed, I couldn't find it being sold anywhere in North America. So with the help of others I finally found it in France, ordered some, grew it and spread the seed around, happy to say it's now being sold commercially here in Canada by at least two companies. Chilteron Seeds sell one called Dutchesse de Chambord that looks and grows identically, I have both plus two others with the name CdeC.
One of these others is the parent of a really popular bush bean "Blue Jay" discovered in the garden of Russ Crow. The other CdeC I have I got from a fellow in Australia, his  seed looks identical like the CdeC shown on the Daughter of the soil blog. I believe the right one is the one shaped like a grain of rice and really quite tiny.  I grew it for it's sweet pods.

I can get long winded at times ;) but being there's not much doing on the forum right now Grin2:-).

Annette