Friday, 19 August 2011

Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Beans & Wood's Early (Prolific) Scallop Squash

Wood's Early Pattypan (Scallop) Squash with Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom BeansHere are two very unusual vegetables, and an advertisement for growing your own. You are very unlikely to find these for sale!

Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Beans:

Grandma Nellie's Yellow Mushroom Beans (hereinafter refered to as "Grandma Nellie's") were brought to Saskatchewan from Russia in the early 20th century. In 1952, seeds were given to Nellie Chernoff, who grew them until 1988, when her granddaughter took over growing them. (information is from Heritage Harvest). I've been seeing them listed around a few places in the last couple of years and they sounded intriguing enough to try.

These are a pole bean, and like all our other pole beans they have grown long and tall, and produced like billy-o. They are the only pole bean where we are NOT crying, "Hold! Enough!", but that is only because we didn't get a lot of seeds to plant. They are just as prolific as any of our pole beans. They are also very popular around here, and why wouldn't they be? They remain tender until they are quite large, they are an attractive shade of yellow with green spots glowing through, even more so when cooked, and finally they really and truly have a flavour reminiscent of both beans and mushrooms! They're delicious!

Like all pole beans, Grandma Nellie's must be planted once the soil warms up towards the end of May or early June and they need good support. They begin to produce in about 75 days. After that you just pick, and pick and pick... until frost, probably, although they do seem to produce beans in waves every few days.

They've been pretty tolerant of the yellow bean mosaic virus we've had in the garden this year, although they are starting to show a few signs of being stressed by it. They aren't the best for resistance to it, but they are not the worst either. We can't complain. They've produced a lot of truly unique and wonderful beans. We will grow them again next year for sure.

Wood's Early (Prolific) Pattypan or Scallop Squash:

There are a fair number of pattypan squash around, but many of the ones for sale now are hybrids. I don't know why; none have been quite as good as this one, in my opinion. Wood's Early, or Prolific, as I've also seen it listed, was introduced in 1899 by T. W. Woods & Sons of Richmond, Virginia.

This has been a great squash for us. I've seen this one listed as both Wood's Early and Wood's Prolific, but whatever you want to call it, it's as easy and trouble-free as any other summer squash and starts producing in about 50 days.

These squash are best fairly young and tender, but we've been letting them get up to 4" or 5" across, and they've still been delicate and not seedy. They have a lovely mild flavour, and excellent texture. They are very attractive, with their space-ship shape and light greeny-white colour. Keep them picked, and they should keep going until frost.

They do need to be cut with scissors. The bushes are a little prickly, and the shape makes them not too easy to get at. Mind you, the same can be said about zucchini in general.


Jerry said...

Can I ask for the source of the seeds? Please? I can Google it, of course, but if you have a good source...

Ferdzy said...

Hi Gerry;

The first place to look for any vegetable seeds you are interested in is here:

Go to the side of the page, find the vegetable and click. Then scroll down to (hopefully) find what you are looking for.

Heritage Harvest Seeds and Prairie Garden Seeds have Grandma Nellies. They are both small Canadian seed houses run by individuals.

Heritage Harvest is more expensive, but professionally packaged. Prairie Garden will send you seeds in recycled envelopes, but in higher quantities and cheaper. I've used them both and been happy with what I've gotten from them. They both have really interesting seed lists, and have things you will have a very hard time finding anywhere else.

Have fun!

Jerry said...

What a good timing! I was just looking for some pole beans to replace green and yellow bush beans that I have decided not to grow next year. BTW, my Amish snap peas are now about 4” high! I might have some before season’s end after all.
But you know what, I have to stop reading your garden posts, I am running out of space to plant new things. I have to come up with some sort of garden condominium.

Ferdzy said...

Yeah we're probably not going to grow any bush beans next year, or very few anyway. Pole are definitely the way to go I think.

I don't know what I would do if I had a smaller garden. We still can't pack in everything we want to try.

We're growing some Amish Snap to save the seeds. They are starting to produce pods, and they look sooo good. Must restrain myself.

Jerry said...

Hmmm, I didn’t know that when it comes to garden “restrain” is in your vocabulary :)

Ferdzy said...

It's hard Jerry, it's hard...

Jerry said...

Thanks a million for the Heritage Harvest Seeds link! What a seed house this is! Man, got to buy a farm to keep me sort of normal. Maybe next life.

Ferdzy said...

You're welcome, Jerry! Or maybe I should be saying, I'm sorry!