Re-Established 2011


This heirloom bean has a shiny black color. The beans grow in beautiful purple pods on hardy vines.

The Cherokee Trail of Tears bean memorializes the forced relocation of the Cherokee Indians in  1838, commonly referred to as the “Trail of Tears.” The Cherokees are believed to have carried this bean with them, and many traditional American Indian dishes proudly feature them.  These small attractive beans are dried  and have a delicious rich flavor.

Images courtesy of Mark Willis

Seed Saving - beans: Self-pollinated, different varieties of Legumes only need to be planted about 5 feet apart. You can tell if there was a variety cross by the seed coat - but other traits may cross that are not evident. Make sure there's enough space for the plant to grow to maturity. When harvesting, make sure the pods and dry and papery. Pull up the entire plant and store in a dry place until they are ready for threshing. When smashed with a hammer - the seeds should shatter - indicating that they are dry enough for storage in a cool dry location for up to 4 years.