It has been years since I tasted any of these beans. Grandmother called them shelly beans. They grew wild six generations ago when my mother's family relocated to the hills of Northeast Mississippi from Alabama. My brother-in-law sent me some of the seed several years ago which I kept in the freezer until this year, when I decided to plant more than just tomatoes in my garden. Bad decision. The extended June drought hit first. Then the July monsoon. Now I am plagued with weeds and bugs more than good plants in my garden.
Charlie Baker of Waynsboro heard about my beans from an article I had written about them. They peaked Charlie's interest because he saves and grows and tries to continue to propagate heirloom seed. That is ole timey seed that will reproduce itself like they used to have to do in family gardens in past generations. Inside his house on a table he has set up in the living room under the dry air from the air conditioner, Charlie has plates and bowls of peas and beans he has already harvested from his garden this year, drying in preparation to be stored away or maybe sold to someone interested in old seed from way back. Charlie told me he started early this year, and perhaps cleared up why my beans aren't putting on like I thought they should.
Charlie Baker: This year I went early. I planted them in March, about the middle of March. Last year I planted them in April and didn't get any. Got to hot on 'em. They won't set a pod up when it's over 85, somewhere around there.
Walt: I think it was already topping 85 degrees by the time I planted mine. So I guess I should be glad that any pods are showing up at all. Lots of growers of them define an heirloom seed as having been in existence prior to 1951, when so many hybrid seed started hitting the market. The reason some people prefer to grow heirloom seed is because there are only so many varieties of a particular plant grown commercially: most for ease of mechanical harvesting or disease resistance or some other tolerance, and not particularly for taste.
That's why I hope I can coax a few more of my Grandmother's shelly beans to produce, because I remember they didn't taste exactly like a butter bean or a pea, but had a flavor all their own. And I'd like to cook some up for Thanksgiving like we used to have when Grandmother was alive. And still have enough left over to grow a crop next year, of course. And maybe that will happen. If I can keep the heirloom weeds from choking them out.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:38:10 GMT
Ridgeland Police are looking for an unidentified woman who tried to use a stolen credit card at a local business. The woman tried to buy over $900 in gift cards and other merchandise.The woman was wearingMore >>
Ridgeland Police are looking for an unidentified woman who tried to use a stolen credit card at a local business. The woman tried to buy over $900 in gift cards and other merchandise.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:34 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:34:37 GMT
The Alabama Department of Public Safety has issued a Missing Child Media Alert after a 2-month-old baby was allegedly taken by a 14-year-old girl early Monday morning from Birmingham. Police say 2-month-oldMore >>
Birmingham Police have confirmed that missing infant De'Anthony Kelly and his abductor, Dor'Sayde Gathright were located in Dallas, Texas Tuesday night, and were taken into custody without incident. More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:53 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:53:05 GMT
Jury selection for the Casey Mark Burgess trial was scheduled to get underway Monday afternoon in Brandon. Thirty-six year-old Burgess is charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault in the attemptedMore >>
Judge John Emfinger has sentenced Casey Mark Burgess to 20 years for aggravated assault and 10 years for attempted kidnapping. A jury found Casey Mark Burgess guilty of those charges Wednesday, in the attempted abduction of a woman in the Castlewoods area in September of 2011.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:14:24 GMT
There's a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck lodged on the east bank of the Pearl River, just below Interstate 20, in Rankin County. It is not clear how the truck got there, or exactly when.The truck was reportedMore >>
There's a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck lodged on the east bank of the Pearl River, just below Interstate 20, in Rankin County. It is not clear how the truck got there, or exactly when.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:24:37 GMT
The Adams County Sheriff's Office is searching for a fugitive on the run. Deputies say two men stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from their employer and one of the culprits is still loose.PublicMore >>
The Adams County Sheriff's Office is searching for a fugitive on the run. Deputies say two men stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from their employer and one of the culprits is still loose.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:42 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:42:49 GMT
Pearl police say they seized several pounds of marijuana after a Florida man was found smoking the drug in a restaurant parking lot. Matthew Leonard, 31, of Gainesville, FL has been charged with the intentMore >>
Pearl police say they seized several pounds of marijuana after a Florida man was caught smoking the drug in a restaurant parking lot.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:31:40 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:10 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:10:32 GMT
Some Jackson business owners called 3 On Your Side about an intersection that has had more than it's share of traffic accidents. It's located in an area known as 5-points where Bailey Avenue crosses WoodrowMore >>
Some Jackson business owners called 3 On Your Side about an intersection that has had more than it's share of traffic accidents. It's located in an area known as 5-points where Bailey Avenue crosses Woodrow Wilson near the Jackson Medical Mall.More >>
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