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"Eating" beans, "Not intended for sowing"?

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  • "Eating" beans, "Not intended for sowing"?

    In the SSE catalog there is a section for bean seed, and a separate bulk section for "Eating Beans", which are "NOT INTENDED FOR SOWING".

    What's wrong with them? Are they old or inferior in some way? I don't understand the logic of having to buy the same bean in both formats, instead of just cooking most of the beans and planting the rest.

  • #2
    I've seen treated sowing-only seeds (fungicide or whatever) but never eating only.

    I know teachers use bagged store limas with a cotton ball for germination experiments...?


    • #3
      That is for "legal purposes". All beans whether sold for growing or eating are the same.


      • #4
        The beans we sell for culinary purposes have two differences from the beans sold for planting:

        1 - We can't guarantee of seed purity. They're grown to eat, not to save seed from, so isolation distances aren't a factor when these are grown. (There is a runner cannellini bean, that's the most likely one to be crossed, if at all.)
        2 - They are not germination tested, and not stored in the same strict, climate-controlled conditions used for storing seeds for planting.

        So - yes, you could plant them, but unlike our other seeds where we stand behind the germination and can refund or replace your seeds, we don't do that for the ones sold for culinary purposes.


        • #5
          Well, P. vulgaris beans are self-pollinating, so I would not be concerned. I mean, gosh, Luther Burbank said he could only get 1 out of 50 pole beans to cross-pollinate...and he was TRYING to!


          • #6
            Steph, thank you for the very clear explanation of the differences, it makes a lot of sense.


            • #7
              I am glad to see someone else had the same question. And thank you for the very clear explanations! I have another question about the eating beans. What about the shelf life of the beans in my new sampler pack of eating beans? I will not be eating them all at once.

              Edit: is the shelf life less than store bought bagged beans? (I assume because of the beans quality it may be)
              Last edited by greenpaws; 05-27-2009, 08:03 AM. Reason: clarification