Paiute Mixed Tepary Bean
20 seeds minimum
Germination tested 12/2017: 86%
Origin: Pauite People (Utah)
This diverse landrace tepary bean came to us from Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, Arizona. It originated with the Paiute people of modern-day Utah. We have found it to be the best suited tepary bean to our relatively damp climate in southern New Jersey, though it thrives (like all tepary beans do) during droughts as well. It can easily be grown with no irrigation — in fact, some tepary beans are noted for their ability to grow to maturity with only one rainfall or watering after planting! This beautiful mixed population of beans contains various shades of yellow, orange, and brown, often with an attractive dappled appearance. Each individual plant has its own form (though almost as a rule these are vining, not bush types) and produces its own type of seeds, so there is great potential for breeding new varieties from it. Unlike nearly all other edible beans, tepary beans will flower and set seed even when nightime temperatures are high — a very important trait as the planet warms. The 'Paiute Mixed' landrace is also very weed resistant. Believe it or not, we have mostly left it to its own devices to grow up with the weeds: it simply uses them as trellises and we harvest the seedpods out of the mess as they dry. It produces consistently over at least a couple months. Young pods can be eaten, as can the unripe seeds (which are substantially larger than the dried seeds). Works well as a dry bean for soups or stews too. Like most legumes, it also fixes nitrogen and thus makes a great companion plant for crops like corn, sorghum, okra, and more.