(102 days) Open-pollinated. Pole bean. Although one of the very best baking beans, TRC can be a difficult crop to mature, especially finicky in cool moist seasons. Garden writer Michele Owen, author of Grow the Good Life. says, “I love chili and True Red Cranberry beans cook up creamy without disintegrating with a richer flavor than any other red bean I’ve ever tasted.” Inspired by a description of “Red Cranberry” in a 1700s gardening encyclopedia, legendary bean collector John Withee, after an 11-year search, finally obtained it from Mr. Taylor of Steep Falls, Maine. The plump round maroon seeds without streaking look like Thanksgiving cranberries, unlike the speckled oval bush cranberry types. One of our oldest varieties, probably Native American, True Red Cranberry is listed on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Soak seeds for 24 hours to aid germination. Indigenous Royalties.①
371 True Red Cranberry Pole Bean - Organic
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Shell and Dry Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris2 oz packet sows 25 ft; 1 lb, 200 ft. All bush beans except where noted.
Culture: In conditions of high nitrogen fertility some bush beans may develop vines in moist hot weather. Tender, will not survive frost. Plant 3–4 seeds/ft in rows 24–30" apart. Pick frequently for maximum yields, but avoid disturbing foliage in wet weather to prevent spread of fungal diseases.
Harvest shell beans when the beans are plump inside pods. For dry beans allow pods to dry on the vine until pressing the beans with your fingernail leaves no indentation. If heavy rains threaten just before maturity, pull plants by the roots and hang them in a dry place to finish or pick pods, shell and finish drying indoors.