Seeds, Roots and Plants for Sale|
Perennial Seed Set:
True Comfrey, Stinging Nettle, White Yarrow, Bronze Fennel.
Email for shipping discount if you order more than one product. Kelp
helps seeds germinate.
October Beans: Buy 90 beans.
Heirloom, local variety in Appalachia.
Tender. Pole. The real, old-timey October bean.
October Beans: 45 beans.
$1.95. Includes flyer how to grow October beans.
supplies. Hard to find.
Dried, shelled beans only. No fresh beans.
heritage variety. The real, old-timey October bean.
Some people call beans
"October beans" that aren't really October beans. These are authentic
October beans (fall beans).
Original seeds were given to me by a southern
Appalachian local who has been handing them down in her family for generations.
May originally be from the Cherokee.
The shelled beans are medium-sized,
cream and pink.
This photo and the next 2 are the shelled, dried beans you receive.
Fall Beans |
"I have been looking for October bean seed for a quite awhile as my grandmother used to grow these in her garden." -Karen, Renick, West Virgina
"I love beans, I love canning beans, well as you can tell I love beans.
I just want to have October beans because I understand they are amazing
in meals." -Cookin Mum, Canada
Shelled Appalachian Beans|
have such fond memories of shelling October beans with my Granny in southwest
Virginia and never thought I'd get to grow these wonderful beans." -Donna,
"I used to pick these on my Grandfather's farm when I was a little kid. Very excited to grow them." -Dave, Alexandria, Virginia
grown. Open pollinated (OP). Never commercialized. No GMO (not Genetically Modified).
Some October bean varieties are tough but these beans are very tender. You
can eat the pods.
No strings. October beans are in the Cranberry bean family.
This photo is a bean that is starting to turn red. Good to eat now or later.
"I just placed an order for some October beans.
So happy to find the genuine kind!" -Polly, Huntsville, Alabama
Your Own Old-Fashioned Beans
Harvested from my garden in western North Carolina in the mountains. Shelled by
Seeds are harvested in the fall and then dried.
be dried and then shelled by hand or by flailing with a stick. Or shell by hand
when the pod is partially dry. After shelling, dry some more and then store.
This photo is the same group of beans as the above photo, later in the season.
A beautiful red.
"I'm very happy I came across your site! My mother-in-law talks about October beans often as a real treat in the corn fields." -Andrew, Raliegh, North Carolina
Tasting, Fun to Grow|
This photo is a young green pod and a mature red pod. Both are ready to eat.
"My husband is from Bristol Tennessee and LOVES these beans. We can't find any so we want to grow some." -Julia, Franklin, Tennessee
"I am very excited to receive the seeds. And get ready to plant them in my above-ground garden. Thank you for having quality products." -Donna, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Old-Timey October Pole Beans
to grow pole bean. Dual purpose (eat pod or just shelled bean).
eat the young, green pod like a snap bean. Or shell beans (shellies) late summer
and fall. Then dry them for use all winter.
This is a fun photo with the
pods at all stages of development with the youngest on the left, progressing to
"I've looked for this bean for years. My Father
(lived in Virginia all his life) grew October beans that were so tasty.
I live in Florida and people around here never heard of October beans. Daddy
always had cornbread and onions with his beans and teas or buttermilk to
drink. Oh my, do I remember those days, when I was growing up in Virginia."
-GT, Tampa, Florida
Growing Fall Beans: Easy to Grow
Sow after danger of frost is over (late spring, usually late May). Soak beans
for 1-2 hours before sowing.
Sow 1 inch deep, 6 or more inches apart in
rows 3-4 feet apart. One plant can take up a lot of space. Growing plants several
feet apart gets you a lot of beans.
Germinates in about 10 days. Thin
to 1 foot or more apart. Beans first start
becoming ripe in about 90 days. They keep producing until frost.
Likes full sun. Likes soil pH 5.5-6.5 but is not picky. It does not need
rich soil. The roots are shallow.
This photo is an October bean seedling.
are almost always self pollinating. Cross pollination is very rare. If you
want pure seed to replant, grow October beans about 12 feet from other bean
varieties. Though growing as close as 3 feet would probably still be OK.
is only one plant. The trellis is over 6 feet tall. You can tell the size by comparing
it to the garden hose on the ground. It was taken in August.
"I am a repeat customer for October beans and love these!" -Deb, Norfolk, Virgnia
"Friends shared October beans with our family a few years ago and we fell in love with the taste of them." -Alisa, Richmond, Virginia
Tender, Pole Beans that Really Produce|
Pole (climbing) beans need a fence or trellis to grow on. Or grow with corn and
the bean plants climb the corn stalk.
Some October beans are bush. These
An annual that matures in 10-12 weeks (65-84 days). The plant
produces beans until first frost in fall.
A very good, prolific producer.
You get a lot of beans from one plant.
This is part of the same plant above
with the photo taken in September. Lots and lots of beans.
"We would love to add these to our organic garden!!" -Heidi, Mead, Colorado
That Lives On|
"I grew up in Winston-Salem and lived there for 37 years and my friends dad used to grow them. I grow some heirloom tomatoes from seeds passed down from my grandfather and would love some of your October beans to grow." -Grant, Talladega Alabama
"I've been searching everywhere for this bean. My Mammaw always grew it on her mountain farm, and it was my favorite. Can't wait to get this growing on my own farm." -Angel, 2 Angels Mushrooms, Harrison, Tennessee
"My 82 year old mom remembers her mother making October beans and she hasn't had them since she was little. I'm so happy you have them! :)" -Theresa, Riverview, Michigan
"My husband who is from Salem, Virginia grew up eating october beans,
his grandparents grew them. According to my husband they are the 'Delicacy
of the bean world' ". -Merichristi, Mebane, North Carolina
October Beans Southern Style|
The traditional Appalachian way to cook them is to shell the beans. Then season
with a piece of ham hock or fatback (salted pork fat). Cook slowly (low boil)
with onions and herbs until they are creamy and soft. They are best served with
They have a rich, earthy, robust, chestnut-like flavor. I love
Young pods are great cooked too. Also good in soup, salad, and
"I have been trying for years to find the beans that my Grandmother used to cook when we were visiting. She lived in East Tennessee, and the seeds had been handed down through her family for a long time. She cooked them both as snaps and dried beans, and they had the most amazing flavor, an order of magnitude better than the tasteless crap available these days." -Carter, Milledgeville, Georgia
Eat Them at All Stages of Growth|
Sometimes called Speckled Cranberry,
French Horticultural, or corn field bean. This is a very rare variety of October
bean. I'm happy I was able to save it.
The pods start out green and as
they mature they turn a light red, bright red, purplish-red, purple, then brown.
October beans can be eaten at all stages of development (green snap or shelly/shelled).
This photo is the young pod at various stages of development. Cute little
"I've heard of October beans for many years and finally realized that as much as I like eating dried beans, these should become a farm staple. Why did I wait so long to reach this conclusion?" -Lisa, Bishop, Georgia
"A dear, 75-year-old friend has asked me to grow these for her." -Victoria, Sparta, Tennessee
A Good Homestead Bean Plant
A very good bean for a self-sufficient
Easy to grow, good producer, easy to shell, no strings, tasty.
"As a child, we ate pintos and white beans most of the time. Then my folks found something they called October beans that reminded me of pintos but that I actually liked better. They grew them. They shelled easy, and we would freeze them. I've missed them since childhood; so excited to find some and hopeful to try to grow some!" -Vicki from Spartanburg, South Carolina via a farm in Guilford County, North Carolina
"Thank you so much for growing enough of these special beans to share." -Amy, Boone, North Carolina
a Heritage Bean|
A popular bean among old timers. Grown for generations. Join us in preserving
This photo is the pink flower the bean plant produces.
"I grew October beans years ago (maybe 35 years?), and I would wait til the pod would have a leathery feel, then I would put them into a quart jar, 1 teaspoon salt, and water and pressure cook them. I did about 50 quarts. I'm here to tell you they are the best. I have not been able to find them since….so I'm thrilled to have found you." -Jude, Arlington, Washington
Beans: The Tradition Continues|
This photo is Nancy in front of her October bean plants.
"I've looked for this bean for years. My Father (lived in Virginia all his life) grew October beans that were so tasty. I live in Florida and people around here never heard of October beans. Daddy always had cornbread and onions with his beans and teas or buttermilk to drink. Oh my, do I remember those days, when I was growing up in Virginia." -George, Sarasota, Florida
"I bought some October beans in North Carolina several years ago and
really enjoyed them. I like the flavor of this bean." -Donna, Florida.
Contact me if you are ordering more than one type of seed. I can discount
All seeds are shipped by First Class or Priority Mail through the Post Office.
There is no pick up at the farm.
For survival farming in hard times in zones 5/6/7, see my Western
North Carolina Farm and Garden Calendar.
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Make check payable to Nancy Shirley. Mail to: 477 Long Branch Road, Topton,
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you are ordering many products, I can discount the shipping. Email me and I
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I ship to everywhere in the United States. I do not ship outside the United
at my Vacation Rental on the farm.