Recently inducted into the Slow Food Arc of Taste, these beatifully-patterened dry beans (creamy white with cranberry mottling around the hillum) grow on upright, bush plants well-adapted to grown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. It is a “cassoulet”-type bean – creamy and rich, they easily adapt to the flavor of whatever they are cooked in, and are good at holding their shape once cooked. They germinate in cold soil and grow quickly, but may pose problems for larger-scale commercial farmers, as it is nigh-impossible to get them dry enough to field-thresh before they start dropping their beans. However, the small-scale farmers in Ebey’s Prarie, who have been the main growers and stewards of this seed since it was introduced to Whidbey Island by Elisha Rockwell in the 1800s, circumvent this problem by pulling the whole plant and storing it in a shed for about a month. By then, the beans have been fully dried out, and are easily threshed. For many years, the farmers of Ebey’s Prarie were the only source from which to aquire this bean, but due to the efforts of a farming family of seed stewards named Smith, the bean slowly gained acclaim among Seattle chefs, and earned its status as a well-known, desirable bean.
|Type||bush dry bean|
|Availability||Uprising Seeds, Truelove Seeds|
|Breeder/Steward||Elisha Rockwell & the farmers of Ebey's Prarie on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound, Washington State.|
|Recommended by||Dry Farming Institute|
|Location of Variety Evaluation||Willamette Valley, OR|
|Variety Evaluation Info||2016 - 2018 Dry Farming Collaborative Variety Trials|