Lynnfield

‘Lynnfield’ caught John Withee’s attention when it first appeared in his garden within his crop of ‘Lila Stuart.’ John began to steward ‘Lila Stuart’, a Maine pole bean that he acquired from Ernest Dana of New Hampshire, in the early 1970s. This soon became one of his favorite pole beans. During one of his grow outs, John discovered a bean growing within his ‘Lila Stuart’ row that was not the same as the rest. It is no surprise that instead of removing this variety he collected the seeds, and grew it for three seasons because, “According to experts such changes, mutations or crosses, if persistent through three growing years can be considered a new variety” (John Withee, “Heirloom Beans” Farmstead Magazine, [1976?], pp 48). After harvesting seed the third year and confirming that the variety was indeed stable, he named this new bean ‘Lynnfield’ after his home and the Wanigan Associates’ headquarters. According to an interview with Seed Savers Exchange in 1981, this was the only variety that John Withee ever selected, named, and then offered in his Heirloom Beans catalog.