Thanks for the info. Yellow wax is the only one readily available here, tho i do have some red swan seed somewhere, but it was a poor producer for me. I like the idea of taste trials - I can't get anyone to take mine seriously. A real annoyance when I'm trying to decide which breeding lines to continue. I also had considerable variation a few years ago in a tomato taste test with my work colleagues. Different people like different flavours. So a mild (insipid) tomato i was going to reject scored really well with some people.
Post by esoteric_agriculture on Feb 4, 2017 18:11:22 GMT -5
We had grown various yellow wax beans for years, and I always felt they were consistently the worst in terms of taste and texture. Red Swan I grow about every other year or so. It's never been an exceptional producer here, either. Taste and texture is ok, I have a certain fondness for the variety so we grow a little occasionally. Jimenez makes huge, beautiful beans but is a poor producer, very late, and only ok for taste and texture. I don't plan to grow it again but do have seed stashed away. I never saved any seed from Big Kahuna. Pretty good variety. Backbone Ridge is the closet thing I have to a genuine family heirloom. A distant family relation who is also a seed saver, sent me seeds of several great old Appalachian beans that had been saved for generations. These old Appalachian snap beans have strings, but have very thick, meaty, juicy pods that stay tender and fiber free basically until the pod turns yellow. Typically we pick this type when the beans inside are essentially fully sized. I have an almost identical variety that is full pole habit , with a different name. These two are definitely now our favorite beans. I did find a cross several years ago between a yellow wax bush and a purple podded pole. I've been segregating out this for the past 2 years, I think I could spend a lifetime pursuing various lines, so much diversity of every possible characteristic.
I did find a cross several years ago between a yellow wax bush and a purple podded pole. I've been segregating out this for the past 2 years, I think I could spend a lifetime pursuing various lines, so much diversity of every possible characteristic.
Neat! I'd love to see a picture of the variation in these lines, if you have one! Which traits were dominant in the cross (indicating to you it was an F1)?
Post by esoteric_agriculture on Feb 4, 2017 19:14:54 GMT -5
I will get a picture of the diversity shortly.
The F1 was undetectable as seed, but when I sowed out a row of the yellow wax, one plant was a modified pole type growth habit, with green pods and pinto bean type seeds. I saved all the seeds of that plant, and planted them all out the next year. The F2 were mostly pole or half runner type, none were edible podded. All green podded. I harvested all seed from the F2 . Seeds were dark brown, light brown, white, black, black and White bicolor, pinto. This year , I only planted F2 seeds that were pinto colored. ( No particular reason). The F3 this year were mostly pole habit, a few bush habit but a horrible ground hugging bush prone to pod rotting. Pods were mostly not edible, but perhaps 25% were edible podded. Most were green podded, but a decent amount were purple podded, and a very few were yellow podded. I plan this year to plant more diversity of the F2, plus going forward with what I saved of the F3 this year. ( I only saved edible podded pole habit).
Post by esoteric_agriculture on Feb 5, 2017 8:12:14 GMT -5
Bean pods that I'd consider inedible had excessive fiber, basically like a dry soup bean type pod. None had an off or bitter taste. I'd really prefer a thick pod with a sweet taste as well. This whole experience has been educational. Neither parent had inedible pods, and neither parent had seeds of much of the colors that are showing up. I am assuming this indicates that pod and seed phenotype are complex, multi genomic with lots of modifier genes and weird interactions. It seems like bush habit and edible pods are recessive, but involve multiple alleles and or complex interactions with modifier genes.
Post by philagardener on Feb 5, 2017 11:34:30 GMT -5
I guess if fiber reduction in cultivated varieties results from distinctly different mutations, then complementation is possible in the offspring, restoring fiberous pods. That is interesting, if a bit frustrating!
Seed coloration and patterning is complex, but virtually all are appealing!
for me edible as a fresh bean is good, but i also like the beans that have more than one purpose, so if i can get an edible pod, a shelly bean and a dry bean from one plant that is a great find.
in wax/yellow podded beans i've always liked Top Notch over all others i've tried. i'm always looking for better though. mainly my problem with Top Notch is that the seeds are not unique enough to keep them easily segregated from other wax beans i may grow. so i am always looking for wax/yellow beans that have good results in our soils/climate but also have a unique seed coat so i can keep them apart from the others. i have tried Cherokee but was not a great bean here for some reason. i don't mind if a bean isn't super productive, but it does have to be moderately productive and not too finicky about being planted in heavy soils (i have some gardens which have better soils but many are built upon the subsoil here which is primarily clay).
a nice find for me the past few years was Purple Dove. it doesn't care where it is planted, it finishes early, the first few pickings give purple pods that are very tender, sweet and they steam up wonderfully in about 8 minutes. after the first few pickings the pods get more fiber in them and a bitter tinge to the flavor so at that point i'm good to leave the rest of the seeds for dry beans. the dry beans cook up to a very mild creamy bean. the plants are lovely dark foliage with red veins and the plants are more upright than most. they are determinate in growth, but they've had a great crop both years i've planted them and the weather wasn't all that great this past season. still i have plenty of seeds. the downside to these is that the Japanese Beetles do like them too so i have to do some hand picking of beetles off the plants, yet even if i don't always get around to it the plants still had a decent crop on them. i'm adding this bean to my regular plantings for now on because there is more to like about this bean than not like and it will improve any possible bean i grow here if i get some interesting crosses from it (maybe a pole and non-determinate version might show up sometime, etc.).