Sacre Bleu Bean
Origin: Apalachin, New York
Improvement Status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~20
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
EFN INTRODUCTION. EXCLUSIVE! We're thrilled to be offering this wonderful new bean for the first time anywhere. Our great friend Lisa Bloodnick (whom we first met after she signed up as an EFN volunteer grower our first year) bred this amazing bean from some interesting rogues she found some years ago.
Lisa and her husband Brendan are market farmers in Apalachin, New York, outside Binghampton. At Bloodnick Family Farm they use all organic methods and even use a draft horse instead of a tractor (most of the time). Lisa just loves beans. Every year she grows over 100 different bean varieties (often many more than that), and some of them are exceedingly rare. Every now and then a new bean will show up in her field — a rogue — the result of a chance cross-pollination or a random mutation. If the rogue is interesting, Lisa will plant it the next year to see if its offspring are also interesting, and if the plants are robust and productive. Usually such efforts lead to nothing special, but every so often a rogue will lead to something new and unique — and such is most definitely the story of the 'Sacre Bleu'!
The original beans Lisa started with looked much like the beans we're offering for sale today — the farthest back she can trace them is to a friend's trade with German gardener who had them labeled "dwarf blue" — but years of work were required to "stabilize" the line, continually "rogue-ing out" beans that didn't look just like the originals or perform the same way (in this case, as an unbridled climber). The result is a pole bean remarkable not just for its beauty and uniformity, but for its productivity and vigor. It's not a green bean, but a gorgeous dry bean — a dark blue kidney-type. Last year was the first year that Lisa found no "off types" to rogue out. It was also a really rough year for farming in the Southern Tier of New York due to the weather. It was a really wet year. The nearby Apalachin Creek overtopped its banks, flooding the Bloodnick farm, and even after the water subsided, it continued raining. If you've ever grown dry beans before, you know how important it is for the beans to have a chance to dry on the vine. In wet seasons they're highly susceptible to fungus. Lisa reports that of all the beans she grew last year (over 150 varieties) her 'Sacre Bleu' were the "cleanest" at the end of the season. All that moisture stayed outside the pods and allowed the beans to dry down perfectly!
We're so excited to be releasing this bean on Lisa's behalf. Please let us know how it does for you, because 2019 will be the first year it's grown anywhere other than Lisa's farm! As with other varieties grown for us by the person who bred them, 50% of each sale will go to Lisa. Long may she work her bean magic!