In February 2009 a lady contacted me about some beans she had. She actually lives relatively close to me, but doesn’t benefit from the same micro-climate I do that gives me longer summers and slightly milder winters then pretty much everybody else around me. She found me in the Seeds of Diversity exchange directory, and in there of course I put that I was interested in swaps. In her possession she had some beans, some ten seeds of an old family heirloom, and that was it. Not having quite as long of a summer as me she needed somebody to grow them out and steward spreading the variety around to prevent its extinction. I’m a sucker for a family heirloom so of course I said I’d be happy to.
Here’s the history I have on them:
Ken Connors was born in Ireland in 1898. His family immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in 1900, and then again moved to New Brunswick, Canada in 1907. They made their way out west and settled in the Vancouver, BC area. The family is still around, but in the interior of BC now, where they run an antique store and still to this day grow these beans that followed them around their journey in North America.
The colour of these beans, while not the crazy spray of colour like some varieties, is a wonderful rich chestnut-brown which I’ve never seen on a bean before. Just looking at them makes you feel warm.