Re-Established 2011

The Red Cranberry bean is one of the oldest American bean varieties, found in the northeastern region of the US.  The Abnaki Indians and woodsmen in what is now Maine historically used this bean.  The Red Cranberry bean is a rare heirloom that was rediscovered by bean collector, John Withee, after an 11-year search in Steep Falls, Maine.  As its name suggests, the mature True Red Cranberry bean looks like a ripe cranberry.  The beans are fat and shiny and are mostly used dried.

Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost and soil and air temperatures have warmed. Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely mature and dry.




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.