A post by gilbert on another thread about the rarity of beans that will actually produce in a corn field reminded me of this bean that I got at a swap from Appalachian Heirloom Plant farm. It's called Ohio pole and it's one of the tastiest I ever came across both green and dry. It did quite well in the dense shade in the middle of a corn patch. I'll find out this year how it compares when grown out in the open. Will probably also grow some in the corn again and a little test plot in a tree shaded edge of the garden.
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
In terms of cornfield beans, I have not found it worth growing P. vulgaris inside the patch much with tall corns or closely spaced corns. With my short flint I sometimes grow Octarora Cornfield, but I've actually gone over to growing cowpeas as cornfield beans instead. Cowpeas are more shade tolerant than common beans across the board, and they have several other advantages. They are one of the few legumes demonstrated to leak Nitrogen during their growing season vs after they die, and many varieties have extrafloral nectaries that attract wasps like crazy. Wasps that can then hunt inside the corn patch for pests.
The variety I've used is Dolicho di Veneto, which is traditionally used as a cornfield cowpea in Italy, according to my reading. And it sure works as one. I believe it is what Drahkk would call a "top-pick" field pea. Mostly I grow common beans on the edge of the corn field since I started using Dolicho. The only downside is it needs soybean/cowpea innoculant which doesn't seem to overwinter and naturalize for me like common bean innoculum does. FWIW
I wasn't aware that they used a different type of innoculant. Then again, my weather is warmer than yours, plus so many farmers around me grow soybeans that both types of bacteria are probably well established here...
The chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it," and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day. --Slartibartfast, Hitchhiker's Guide
How high do you let corn grow before plamting cowpeas? I planted a few trail of tears beans, and genuine cornfield beans while hilling recently, but figured I might wait a little bit before putting the cowpeas in the ground, but I am easily persuaded.