Seed Swaps

Will the real 'Kahnawake Mohawk' bean please step forward...

01 Jan 2012
Overcast 2°C / 36°F

I am trying to get the piles (literally) of seeds I have collected from the garden, obtained from swaps and late season sales, and my remaining seeds, organized and entered into folia. I’ve started with the beans.

I planted ‘Kahnawake Mohawk’ beans which I obtained at the 2010 Montreal Seedy Saturday, but the beans I harvested are not quite the same as the ones I planted. In fact, amongst them there are three beans which don’t resemble either the rest, or the original beans.

I found a photo of purchased ‘Kahnawake Mohawk’ seeds and they seem to look like the ones I started with. Based on what I’ve read about beans I think the seeds I obtained must have crossed with another bean: if I’m remembering correctly when beans are crossed, the seeds will look like the parent but they will then produce seeds that look different.

I’m not sure what to do next with these seeds – do I grow them out, use them in a soup? There probably isn’t more than 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of a cup of beans. Right now I’m leaning toward just eating them and trying another variety of beans.

1 – the four remaining seeds I started with
2 – what the majority of the seeds I harvested look like
3 – the three odd-ball seeds




Not so sure the majority are not your original. The pattern is very similar and consistent. Given time to dry further they may darken to the color of the original. The three look to be something new. Beans are not great hybridizers, more self pollinators, but, they do some. The what to do is more up to you,

Posted on 03 Jan 12 (over 6 years ago)

If you still have these 3 years later: I’m pretty sure those are all non-crossed. I’ve grown an identical-looking bean called Ojo de Cabra, and they do turn much darker brown in storage. It’s very common for tan beans to be pale if shelled fresh, then light tan when dry and young, and then get increasingly darker brown in dry storage. As for the dark ones, those are “reverses” of the dominant pattern, which is pretty common in both regular, runner, and lima beans and is a developmental thing and not genetic. It’s pretty common for a bean that’s say red with orange spots to produce a few pods with beans that are orange with red spots. Sometimes an individual seed is half & half normal/reversed. I’m not quite sure why the pattern in these reverses changed from striped to tiny speckles, but all of my striped bean varieties do the same thing. Either it’s some quirk of zebra beans, or there’s a semi-hidden 2nd pattern that’s made prominent when reversed. I think it might be the latter since when you look at the stripes on the normal-pattern beans there are tiny specks in them.

Posted on 10 Dec 14 (over 3 years ago)

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North Glengarry


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