Friday, August 24, 2012

My vegetable garden: Trail of Tears, dry pole beans

I grew pole beans last year and did not like the taste at all.  I talked to a few other people and it turns out, no one I could find really liked the taste of pole beans.  I really like the idea of growing vertical for saving space, so I was disappointed that the beans I could grow vertical weren't really all that good.  
Then I discovered Cherokee Trail of Tears beans.  They were dry black beans that I could trellis.  I am hoping that because they are on a trellis, that they can dry on the vine without getting moldy like many of my dry beans did last year.  We had a rainy spell just before the beans were ready for harvest and I ended up loosing some of the beans.  So I looked around to see if there were any other kinds of dry beans to trellis, but there were hardly any others.  Variety would be nice, but this is a start. We will see how they are doing when it is time to harvest.
The interesting name of these beans also comes with a sad story.  The "trail of tears" was the relocation march that the federal government forced the Cherokee people on in 1839.  It went from Tennessee to Oklahoma and was a horrible march that lead to much suffering and death to thousands of Cherokees.  One of the things these people managed to bring with them was these vining black beans.  They were originally called just "bean" but were renamed by the Cherokee people once the march was finally over.

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