Returning for 2023: Red Noodle Bean and Danver's Carrots
Today I'm excited to talk about two varieties that we have back in stock this year. Both varieties were grown by my friends and upcoming seed growers at Meyerhof Farm here in our little town of Manton. They are in their third year of seed growing for us and really nailed it this year!
Chinese Red Noodle Bean:
This is one of the original varieties we grew in 2009 when we launched our seed company and I believe our original seed was sourced from Baker Creek Seed Co. As the name suggests they are long. Other names include Yard Long Bean, Asparagus bean and, on our farm, by the nickname YaLoBe.
Red Noodle beans are planted when all chance of frost has passed and the soil has warmed sufficiently to germinate bean seeds. It is also possible to start these in trays and transplant them into the garden. If you opt for that method just be sure not to let them get leggy or it will stunt their growth since beans don't really like root disturbance.
These are vigorous climbers and will definitely need a trellis. Luckily there is almost no wrong way to build a trellis! Old fencing will work or even simple bamboo stakes. If you have a long growing season and the space these will climb to 10-12 ft so build for growth.
These generally start to produce beans by mid summer and will continue through the fall. The beans are born in clusters of two with beautiful pale lavender blossoms. As the beans swell you can experiment with your preferred eating stage. Unlike many pole beans that become woody as the seed matures I actually find that these become sweeter giving them a longer window for eating than most.
If you are into seed saving, as I encourage you to be, these are a great place to start. Just let some of the beans stay on the vines until dry and then harvest the dried pods. The beans can easily be extracted by hand.
This is an old time heirloom carrot variety dating back to the late 1800's in Danvers, Massachusetts. The history of carrots, in general though, dates back much much further. Their ancestor is the wildflower Queen Ann's Lace that still shares the same scientific name as carrot, Daucus carota. In fact Queen Ann’s Lace is the bane of many seed growers- if it is growing wild on your farm then it will easily cross pollinate your carrot seed crop and introduce woody white roots into your carrot population!
Evidence suggests that carrots were grown many thousands of years ago by the great ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. These predecessors to the modern carrot were often bitter and used for medicine as well as food. They also came in many colors including yellow and purple.
Around the 10th century they became common foodstuffs in the Middle Eastern regions and then in the 17-18th centuries more vigorous breeding work by the Dutch produced the orange carrot so popular today.
Danver's is well known for its reliable production in clay soils and strong tops for ease of harvest. They are tapered and generally grow from 6-8 inches.
This particular crop was a joint effort between our farm and Meyerhof Farm. We grew the roots on our farm starting in July 2021. Then, last winter we dug the roots and selected them for the best to replant. This selection process with carrots is always very important so you keep improving the variety over time. You never want to eat all the best roots and let the stragglers go to seed.
We replanted the roots across town at Meyerhof farm, who are also certified organic by CCOF. They grew the roots all last spring and they went to seed in the summer of 2022. The seed has been lab tested to germinate strongly at 90%. We are proud of this joint seed growing effort and pleased to have this great variety back in stock for 2023!
More new and returning varieties will soon be posted to our website. Thankfully the power has stayed on and it is actually growing brighter outside so we are making a little electricity!
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to use the discount code Holiday15 through Dec 18th for a discounted order!