Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I love seeds. Seeds tell me stories of cultures and families and soils. In a fold in fate that makes me grin, someone with whom I've had a few seed exchanges recognized my passion and passed my name on to another person, who through the death of a seed saving neighbor, was suddenly rich in historic bean seeds, and soon thereafter, I became rich in these seeds as well. Yesterday, a box of 33 varieties of beans—many quite rare, a few more familiar—arrived in my mailbox.

As soon as I heard these beans were coming my way, I recruited a team of local gardeners, some experienced, some new, and one even a former student, to help me maintain this collection by growing it out. We'll meet next Thursday at a local pub, where I'll distribute seeds, tools to perform small-scale mechanical isolation, and information on how to maintain varietal purity.


Tucomares Chocolate Runner

Herren Bohnli



Tennessee Wonder

If the internet didn't exist, it is very likely all this history wouldn't be sitting in my lap. Yet, the internet does exist, and through it, in 2014, I have a box with a shy estimate of 2,500 years of seasons—droughts, floods, freezes, bounties, and lean years—right here with me on my couch in my house on the edge of a canyon.


Nora said...

How is that a post on beans can bring tears to my eyes? Must be the talented writer . . .

Philadelphia Gardener said...

A rich inheritance, wisely shared. It is our job to enjoy heritage varieties and then hand them on. Without such cooperation, neither of us will survive.

Thanks once again, Christina, for an inspiring story!

Michelle said...

What an incredible windfall! I do believe that it fell into the best lap possible. I can't wait to see how your grow-out project works out.