Last year at Seedy Saturday I picked up a packet of Deseronto potato beans to try and grow. Each year I like to grow a variety of veggies that I don’t usually grow. This is a rare white bean from the Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve in Deseronto, Ontario (very close to where I live). I was intrigued by the name and wanted to give it a try.
A hardy, half-runner type with creamy flowers and smooth white beans. You can cook them like mashed potatoes (this is what intrigued me) or use as a thickener for soups and stews.
I was also experimenting with another form of labelling. This time I just tucked the packet inside a sealable bag and pegged it onto the supporting stake. This method worked really well last year and I would certainly use it again. I was worried the moisture from all the rain would get inside the bag or the heat from the sun would create condensation but except for a tiny bit they stayed dry.
Unfortunately out of the 8 seeds I planted only 1 of them grew. But that plant did produce some pretty blooms and several beans. I planted them towards the end of May and in a few days it did start to sprout. By July I had blooms, followed by the beans.
The beans did get fairly fat and I let them dry out a bit so I could save the seeds for this year to try again. By mid August they were just about ready to pick. Unfortunately not enough to try cooking with them. I haven’t found a local supplier of these seeds but maybe I’ll be lucky and get some more seeds at the swap table at Seedy Saturday this weekend.
Have you heard of potato beans or tried growing them?