In the mid-18th century, at the invitation of Catherine the Great, and fleeing the compulsory military service being imposed on them by the new Prussian government of their homeland in Germany’s Vistula Delta, a number of Mennonites emigrated to newly-conquered territories of the Russian Empire in what is today the southern part of Ukraine and Russia. Despite their new farmland being more arid than the delta from which they had come, they adapted their agricultural practices to their new enivronment, becoming some of the most important wheat farmers in the empire. They also produced this heirloom bean, an all-purpose borlotti type, brown with streaks of red, and grown on large, leggy bush plants than mature relatively early, in about 90 days. While many left due to the threat of compulsory military service in the mid- and late 19th century, many of those that remained were deported to Siberia by the USSR’s government in the early 20th century, and supposedly brought this bean with them. Many fled to Kansas, helping establish the state’s wheat industry, and introducing this heirloom bean to the United States.
|bush dry bean
|Russian Mennonite community
|Dry Farming Institute; Moondogs Farm, Marcola, OR
|Location of Variety Evaluation
|Willamette Valley, OR
|Variety Evaluation Info
|2016 - 2018 Dry Farming Collaborative Variety Trials