The Q&A Archives: Heirloom Seeds For Stringy Green Beans

Question: Would you please send me information on purchasing heirloom seeds for the old fashioned green beans and tomatoes? There is a nearby neighbor that is 80+ years old that wishes to plant some of the old seeds that he remembers were so tasty as a youngster. I would like to find them for him.

Answer: What a nice gesture! Some of the old varieties are truly more tasty than new ones, which have been bred for things like ease of harvest and shelf life, rather than taste. Unfortunately, the old varieties of tomatoes especially show little disease resistance, so they may need extra attention in the garden.

Burpee has an heirloom catalog with lots of old varieties. You can order a catalog from the web site at, or search their online catalog. Some great old varieties include 'Brandywine' and 'Mortgage Lifter' tomatoes, and 'Kentucky Wonder Pole Snap' and 'Tenderpod' beans. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a source for "stringy" beans!

You might also enjoy visiting Seeds of Change web site

Also, here's the web address for an article about the Seed Savers Exchange:

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