We’ve been working on compiling the results of our 45 variety trials that were conducted at our 4-acre Trials Garden in Wolcott, Vermont. The results are interesting – sometimes surprising – and always fun in terms of identifying standout varieties for future introduction to the catalog.
We work through the trials reports in alphabetical order by crop type, so spent some time on the category of beans in recent weeks…We thought it would be fun to share some of our conclusions.
Filet Bean Trial
In our Filet Bean trial, we were please to see one of our new 2012 introductions, Coban, out-yield our current filet varieties, Maxibel and Tavera, and produce yields approaching some of the heavy-hitters like the snap beans Bronco and Provider. Maxibel is a longer, lighter green filet bean, whereas Coban and Tavera are similar in color (medium green) and length (4-5”). Coban is slightly thinner than Tavera and less round in shape – a really beautiful filet green bean with a heavy, concentrated fruit set.
Snap Bean Trial
Strike was our heaviest yielding snap bean but if you’re after yield, you may want to take a closer look at pole beans. The varieties in our pole bean trial out-yielded the bush and filet beans by almost double in most cases. Our lovely streaked romano bean, Dragon Langerie, isn’t about looks alone – this variety was also a heavy yielder, on par with many of the pole beans.
As for flavor, in our late August bean taste test Kentucky Wonder pole bean was one of the chart-toppers. Though not a heavy yielder, our taste-testers sung the praises of this versatile heirloom variety: “really good!” wrote many, and “nutty…good, deep flavor.”
Hope all of this gives you some food for thought as we go into the winter season of garden dreams. Sweet beans!