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19 High Yield Heirloom Beans You Can Grow To Cut Your Grocery Bill

Updated on May 14, 2015

Growing heirloom beans means three things for your garden:

  1. You're going to get a high protein/calorie yield for relatively little work.
  2. You'll be able to re-plant the beans next season without infringing on any genetic copyrights.

But to really maximize your heirloom bean crop and cut down on your grocery bill, you need to grow varieties that typically produce more beans than most plants out there. In general, pole bean varieties save a lot of space, while bush bean varieties are both high yielding and fast growers.

Here's 19 heirloom bean varieties that you can grow that will maximize your harvest and cut down on your grocery bill...

#1: Kentucky Wonder


This fast growing high yielding bush beans takes between 52 to 65 days to mature. Some of its characteristics include; tenderness, excellent flavor and stingless stalk. The bean produces flattened pods that can grow up to 8 inches long. The Bush Kentucky Wonder can be used while fresh or canned for later use; it is also a good grower in all regions. The bean is sometimes referred to as the Old Homestead.

#2: Greencrop

This top yielding bean variety takes 55 days to mature. Some of its most outstanding characteristics include; excellent flavor, meaty and tender stalk. The bean produces flat pods that can grow up to 8 ½ inches wide. Greencrop grows to about half the width of most Roman bean types. Once harvested the bean can be used fresh, canned or frozen for future consumption. The bean can also be grown easily without much maintenance.

#3: Provider


The Provider bean variety takes 52 days to fully grow and mature. This bean is highly adaptable and can grow in many regions; the bean can be sown early or late. It typically, performs well under both hot and adverse weather conditions so long as it planted on a good cool soil. The bean is also highly dependable; it is able to retain its flavor long after picking. The Provider produces medium green round stingless pods that grow up to a height of 6 inches long.

#4: Top Crop

Top crop takes between 43 and 53 days to mature. This fast growing, high yielding bean variety is very flavorful, meaty and tender. It can be prepared fresh, or preserved through canning or freezing. The bean stalk typically grows straight and produces emerald green stingless pods that are slightly curved; the pods typically measure between 6 and 7 inches long. The seeds are brown mottled and oblong in shape. In terms of height, the bean grows upright to between 18 and 24 inches tall; Topcrop bean requires concentrated picking.

#5: Emerite


The highly productive Emerite bean takes between 55 and 70 days to mature. This sweet and beany flavored bean variety is categorized as a fillet bean whose origins can be traced to Vilmoren, a popular old French seed house. The plant normally grows straight and slender, it produces a green stingless pod. The tender green bean variety can grow up to 4 and 5 inches long, while the crisp brittle pods variety can grow to between 7 to 9 inches long. In terms of height, the Emerite bean can grow up to 8 feet tall. The bean can easily be frozen for future use.

#6: Derby


Derby is a high yielding bush bean variety that takes 57 days to grow and harvest. It typically grows straight and produces dark green pods that are oval and rounded; the pods can grow to a height of 7 inches long, although the white seeds can be also be picked at 5 inches. The bean is good for both freezing and canning and produces an excellent flavor. Derby is generally a slow seed developer, but it can withstand different weather conditions. The bean is also resistant to many diseases, although it is vulnerable to the Common bean mosaic virus.

#7: Scarlet Runner

The Scarlet Runner takes 115 days to harvest for the shell beans and 70 days for the young pods. The bean produces flat medium green pods that are edible and very tasty when young. The bean also produces vigorously productive vines that attracts humming birds. Scarlet Runner can be prepared in a similar manner as green limas.

#8: Goldencrop Wax


This high yielding yellow bean variety takes between 45 to 65 days to fully mature. The bean produces a tender stingless stalk with straight round and bright yellow pods that measure about 5 ½ to 6 ½ inches long. The seeds of the Goldencrop Wax are white in color. When this small upright plant is grown under hot weather, it can resist the blossom drop. Goldencrop Wax are ideal for growing in the garden.

#9: Henderson

This high yielding pole type lima bean takes between 60 and 75 days to harvest, the plant produces slightly curved dark green pods that measure about 2 ¾ and 3 ½ inch long. The bean seeds are typically small and plump green when harvested but they turn creamy white when dried. The plant is also drought resistant; it grows very well in the southern and northern gardens.

#10 White Dixie Butterpea


This bean variety takes between 70 and 76 days to harvest. The bean is very tasty and has a succulent texture. This Butterbean produces white seeds on dark green pods that measure 4 inches long. The bean plant is typically bushy, and can grow up to 16 to 23 inches tall. This highly prolific producer can withstand high temperatures and continue growing until frost. It adapts very well to a variety of gardening conditions.

#11 Baby Fordhook


This butter bean type bean takes 75 days to harvest. The bean produces a delicate tender flavor when cooked. It is especially great when cooked with ham. The pods it produces are slightly curved and small; they typically, measure about 2¾ inches long. Each of the pods contains about 3 to 4 bright green bean seeds. The plant can grow up to a length of up to 16 inches.

#12 Resistant Cherokee Wax

This high yielding bush yellow bean stock takes between 50 and 56 days to harvest; the stingless wax bean is also highly adaptive and can grow under adverse weather conditions. Cherokee Wax is very tasty; it produces bright oval yellow pods that are measuring between 5 ½ and 6 1.2 inches long. The plant is typically grows large and erect; historically, the bean has been passed down across generations of Cherokee Indians.

#13 Fordhook 242

The Fordhook Bush bean takes 70 – 85 days to harvest, and has a nutty flavor. This highly productive bean stock produces short, thick, greenish white pods that measure between 3 ½ and 4 inches long. The pods are 1 inch wide, with each containing between 3 to 6 large seeds. The bean is easy to shell and grows very well in the north, especially around to the oceans.

#14 Navy

This high yielding dried shell bean takes between 85 and 100 days to harvest. The bean has a nutty, mild flavor. It produces small white beans in pods measuring 4 inches long. The plant itself can grow to between 16 and 24 inches tall. Navy is excellent for making soup, baking and stew. The skin it produces is typically firm even when exposed to cold temperatures.

#15 Black Turtle

This hardy bean variety takes between 85 and 105 days to mature. The bean is highly resistant to diseases and heat. It can be used for preparing soup and stew. The plants produces small black pea sized beans. The high yielding Black Turtle is widely grown in South America, Southwestern US and Cuba.

#16 Vermont Cranberry

This bean variety takes between 60 and 85 days to harvest. It produces a unique sweet taste that is of high quality. The beans are typically oval, medium sized and plump cranberry in color. The red mottled pods that the bean produces houses between 5 to 6 seeds per pod; the seeds are typically green in color. Vermont Cranberry is also highly reliable and easy to shell; it is an extremely popular New England heirloom.

#17 French Horticultural

This is a high yielding bush type bean variety that takes 63 - 68 days to harvest. The high yielding heirloom bean produces excellent green, dry bean or shell. The pods usually grow flat and oval to between 6 and 8 inches long. The pods are normally bright green when maturing but turn yellow and red when dried. French Horticulture produces purple seeds; the plant can grow up to a height of between 18 and 20 inches tall. It can be frozen for later use.

#18 Romano

This Italian stock bean takes 60 – 70 days to mature. The bean produces a meaty, flavorful taste. The pods are flat, stingless and medium green in color; they can grow up to a height of 5 to 6 ¼ inches long. The seeds, on the other hand, are typically buff to brown with a white eye. The bean is great when eaten while young; Romano can be traced to Europe, where it is very popular.

#19 King of the Garden

This Butterbean stock variety takes 85 days to mature. The bean is of a high quality and high yielding variety. The pods are typically broad and measure between 4 to 6 inches long; the pods are also flat and smooth. King of the Garden produces white seeds; the plant is well-adapted to climbing and grows very well under cool weather conditions.


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