The long vines of this Italian heirloom will grow 20 feet tall if provided support. These produce masses of 15cm (6”) pods by late summer, each filled with good, firm cream coloured beans streaked with red. It’s amazing how productive this vigorous climber can be. The beans are easy to shuck and dry, and once reconstituted for winter soups, they are creamy in texture, with a wonderful nutty flavour.
Borlotti beans are sometimes referred to as Romano beans - not to be confused with the flat green or wax beans like Hilda Romano beans. Rather, Borlotti appear to be descendants from the original Cranberry beans that originated in Colombia the Cargamanto bean. Borlotti were bred to have a thicker skin, and are popular all over the Mediterranean region. The original Cranberry beans, the Borlotti that returned to North America with Italian immigrants, and various other beans (like Taylor Horticultural bean) can still be found that share a common lineage.
Matures in 80 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
Dry beans are an ecologically sound foodstuff in today’s world. Being a bean, they produce at least part of their own nitrogen supply with the help of symbiotic bacteria, which live in the soil. Dry beans are one of the easiest crops to produce organically. Dry beans are excellent protein sources when combined with whole grains, nuts or small amounts of meat or fish. Dried beans also contain fibre and minerals (remember to discard the soaking and cooking water to reduce flatulence). Follow along with this handy How to Grow Dry Beans Guide and grow delicious beans for hearty soups all winter long.