Origin: Pacific Northwest
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~40 ($3.50)
Bulk seeds per packet: ~160 ($10.50)
Germination tested 11/2022: 99%
Life cycle: Annual
Pintos are the most common bean type in the US — and for good reason! They’re beautiful, delicious, and versatile. ‘Northern Pinto’ is a high-yielding pinto-type bean which has long been selected for northern climates. Egg-shaped beans are beige and splashed with brown dappling. Passed around the Seattle area for at least the last few decades, this strain has a high prevalence of darker brown inverted colored beans which make for a nice contrast. A great choice for those looking to add authentic flavors and textures to your cuisine.
Pinto is a go-to for excellent BBQ beans, countless Mexican dishes, or your famous spicy chili. It is true — you might actually get in trouble for making refried beans with any other bean! With a comforting earthy flavor, its texture is similar to a kidney bean, but with a slightly softer, characteristically powdery texture.
Maturing early and drying down uniformly, this bean has been a good performer in dry farming bean trials in the Snoqualmie Valley near Seattle, Washington. Plants are bushes with short runners. Pods hold beans well during harvest but are easy to thresh.
Our seed comes from Chris Homanics of Head, Hands, Heart Nursery and Seed in Washington state, grown in collaboration with Sean Stratman of Dancing Crow Farm.
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed after danger of last frost, probably early to mid May in most of the US, or as late as early to mid June. Rows could be 12-18 inches apart, plants could be 6-10 inches apart. Harvest as pods dry, or pull entire plants when most of the pods are dry. If possible, avoid harvesting during or after heavy rains.