Sunday afternoon I planted Golden Rocky wax beans, Black Valentine beans, and Royal Burgundy beans. These are bush varieties and the Golden Rockys are especially nice. The yellow color makes them beautiful and easy to pick, and boy, do they produce a lot of “green” beans for a small area. They are very tender and delicious, and I am not a big green bean fan.

The Royal Burgundy are purple beans that turn green when you cook them. They are not as prolific as the Golden Rocky but they are very attractive, especially if you grow them together.

The Black Valentine have black beans inside green pods.

Soldier, which I haven’t planted yet, is a bush bean best for dry shell beans. The beans are white with a dark red badge.

To be planted a little later, the following pole beans and field peas:

Whippoorwill field peas – originally from Monticello, these field peas bear until frost. Tolerate a lot of different light and soil conditions. A soul food and country tradition, especially with okra and hamhocks. The “snaps,” tender young pods, are better than the peas. Much tastier than black-eyed peas, which I despise.

Jacob’s Cattle – a dry bean that is lovely to look at – white and dark red.

Borlotti – smuggled by yours truly from the Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy. Customs apparently bought the story that they were all intended for food. A brownish pink bean.

Toscanelli – same story as above, but these are pretty much the same as cannellini beans (white and delicious).

I saved a lot of these beans from last year, and so I can’t guarantee how well they will germinate. And I may have mixed up some Golden Rocky with the Black Valentine, since the beans look exactly the same! You’ll know when they bear.