Seeds, Roots and Plants for Sale|
Shipping discounts available if you order more than one product. Kelp helps seeds germinate.
See below for ways to pay. Makes a great gift. We can ship to a friend.
Heirloom October Beans|
Heirloom, 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 is the shelled, dried beans you receive.
Organically 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.
"My husband is from Bristol Tennessee and LOVES these beans. We can't find any so we want to grow some." -Julia, Franklin, Tennessee
Your Own Old-Fashioned Beans|
Harvested from my garden in western North Carolina in the mountains. Shelled by hand.
Seeds are harvested in the fall and then dried.
Pods can 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 a young green pod and a mature red pod. Both are ready to eat.
Old-Timey October Pole Beans|
Easy to grow pole bean. Dual purpose (eat pod or just shelled bean).
You can 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 greater maturity.
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.
All beans 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.
This photo 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 are pole.
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.
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 cornbread.
They have a rich, earthy, robust, chestnut-like flavor. I love them.
Young pods are great cooked too. Also good in soup, salad, and casseroles.
"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 baby beans.
A Good Homestead Bean Plant|
A very good bean for a self-sufficient homestead.
Easy to grow, good producer, easy to shell, no strings, tasty.
A popular bean among old timers. Grown for generations. Join us in preserving this variety.
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
Contact us if you are ordering more than one type of seed, root or plant.
We can discount shipping.
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 our Western North Carolina Farm and Garden Calendar.
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|Check: We accept checks, money orders and cash. Checks need to clear before shipment. Make check payable to Nancy Shirley. Mail to: 477 Long Branch Road, Topton, NC 28781. Please include shipping.|
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We ship to everywhere in the United States. The only exception are chicks, chickens, ducks, ducklings and goats need to be picked up at the farm. We do not ship outside the United States.
The photo below is Nancy in her garden. The photos to the right are tools for working in a comfrey patch, and Nancy's flower garden (day lily, anise hyssop, catnip).
Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
Macon County (close to Cherokee, Graham and Swain Counties)
Topton, North Carolina 28781
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