One of the joys of gardening is being able to share with family and friends. While I can’t share my produce with all of you, I can share my heirloom Tarheel green bean seed. It’s been in my family for approximately a hundred years going back to my great-grandparents and beyond.
My grandparents moved from North Carolina to Washington state in 1941. They traveled with two other families on the back of flat-bed truck they converted to a camper with bunks. One of the times they brought with them were their Tarheel green bean seed.
When my husband and I were dating, he came to meet my parents for the first time. He told me he didn’t care for green beans, so when my mom passed the pot of green beans, I was surprised he took a serving. After eating his beans, he helped himself to more. I leaned over and whispered, “You don’t have to eat more.” I thought he just wanted to impress my parents.
He replied, “These are the best beans I’ve ever eaten. I don’t like other green beans, but I love these.”
We’ve grown them every year since we’ve been married. Going on fourteen years now.
Tarheel pole beans grace many a garden in our valley. These beans can’t be bought in a store, either the seeds or the harvest. I’ve scoured the heirloom seed catalogs and websites and have never seen these beans available.
Originating from the Appalachian Mountain range, they have a small white bean inside the pod and are lumpy. The taste is phenomenal, sweet and buttery. Add a little fat back, chunk of bacon, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better dish.
They are a heritage or heirloom bean, meaning they haven’t been altered by science. (If you’re interested in heirloom gardening, I have a 40-page FREE e-book, Heirloom Gardening Guide-Plant to Save Money available as a bonus gift. Sign up is at the top right side bar of my website or at www.melissaknorris.com/freebies)
Each family or hollow would have their own unique bean and would trade with other families for different varieties. These beans must be staked or you can plant them on a fence, but they need something to climb. In fact, prized beans were considered part of a girl’s dowry!
Tarheel beans produce a lot per plant. They do require stringing, but the flavor is worth the extra work. I like to let some of the beans mature. I mix the shelled small white bean in with the fresh snapped green pods. They are excellent fresh, canned, or in true Tarheel fashioned, leather britches style. Beans are strung on a string and left to dry. You then soak them when ready to eat and cook as usual.
I’m so excited to share these with you. If you’re reading this via email, click through to my website and enter via the rafflecopter widget.
The Prizes are……….
Grand Prize winner will receive 1 copy of my book Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way (Read the first chapter here) & a starter sample packet of my heirloom Tarheel green bean seed.
5 Runner up winners will receive starter sample packets of heirloom Tarheel green bean seed.
Winners will be announced here-chosen by random number generator, must be 18 years of age, and residents in USA or Canada. For full rules, click on the Terms & Conditions at the bottom of the Rafflecopter entry form.
What’s your favorite family heirloom? Do you grow a garden? What’s your favorite garden crop?
You can still enter my giveaway of A Rabbi’s Look at The Last Days if biblical end times interest you.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.