Auntie Wilder Bean
- Pole habit
- 55-65 days
Sweet, tender, and juicy, this heirloom variety took top honors in Seed Savers Exchange’s 2015 snap bean taste evaluation. It has a strong climbing habit and produces striking, 7"-long dark-purple pods. Dorothy Barnett of Shelton, Washington, received the high-yielding variety from her mother, who traces it to her nurse, “Auntie Wilder,” an immigrant who brought the seeds with her from Sweden in the 1890s. Pole habit, 55-65 days.
Who was Auntie Wilder? Dorothy recounted the story in 1988: "When I was a baby 73 years ago, she was my mother's nurse. She had brought the seed from Sweden at least 25 years before this... My Dad came to the state of Wa. in late 1888 & settled in the Kent Valley where he was a farmer. I was child no 9 (nine) and only my sister and I are alive, but we both keep the seed every year." Dorothy's family used this variety as both as a snap bean and a dry bean.
Journey to SSE Member Mary Schultz and the Centennial Committee of Monroe, Washington are to thank for bringing this bean to us. In 1988, the Centennial Committee conducted a seed search for heirloom varieties once grown by Washington's pioneer settlers as a way to honor their statehood centennial (1889/1989). Mary sent a letter to every rural weekly newspaper in Washington, ultimately locating over 25 varieties, which are now maintained in the Seed Savers Exchange seed bank.
Seed Savers Exchange is honored to bring this variety out of our bank and into the hands of gardeners.
Direct Seed: 2" Apart
Seed Depth: 1"
Support: Trellis, tepee, or fencing
Light: Full Sun
Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed. Harvest frequently for increased yields.