Variety comparison: A tale of two beans

beansI’m growing two varieties of bush beans this summer. I usually just grow pole beans but decided to make a little extra room in my garden for them because bush beans tend to be quite prolific.

One variety is French beans ‘Gourmet Green Baby Filet Type’ from Ed Hume Seeds (see above right). I grew it last year and couldn’t believe how many beans it produced! They are narrow and small but very tasty.

The other variety is ‘Purple Teepee Bean’ from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (above left). I was attracted to this variety because the description indicated the beans would be held above the foliage, making it easy to harvest. I thought that sounded great because we all know what a pain it is to harvest bush beans! That’s because the plants usually fall over from the weight of the beans and you have to dig through the foliage in order to see where the beans are.

So I planted both and started harvesting them a week ago. Here is a comparison of the two, in case you’d find it helpful:

Gourmet Green Baby Filet Type _

  • Seed color: White
  • Bean length: About 4″
  • Ease of harvesting: Fair. It’s difficult to see the beans.
  • Taste: Very good, tender pods.
  • Comments: Very prolific. Freezing quality is good (but not excellent).
  • Would I grow them again? Definitely. The taste and productivity make them worth a spot in the garden. I think they are better for steaming and eating right away, rather than being topnotch for freezing.

Purple Teepee Bean _

  • Seed color: Brown
  • Bean length: About 5″
  • Ease of harvesting: Fair. Most of the beans I’ve picked so far have been hanging down under the foliage near the main stem, so it’s hard to see them. To make matters worse, the plant stems are deep purple — same as the beans — so it’s hard to see a dark purple bean against a dark purple stem!
  • Taste: Very good, tender pods. Haven’t eaten any I’ve frozen yet so can’t comment on freezing quality.
  • Comments: Purple pods change to green during cooking process. Pretty pink flowers, prolific.
  • Would I grow them again? Only until I finish off the seed packet!