We received this great "bean biodiversity" kit in the mail from USC-Canada, a non-profit organization promoting food security and seed saving (not only in Canada, but around the world). They have some amazing projects going on, lots of useful information, and resources for educators (useful for home educators too) including this bean growing kit with 15 kinds of beans (some of which were near extinction and have been revived by seed savers in Canada). Very cool project to take on with our 8 year old daughter! The kit comes with info about each seed, and ways to share the stories of these diverse seeds, so we can all learn why it's so important for us to help grow, save and share the seeds.
Here at home we are planning to plant a few varieties to save this year - I read that beans need an average of 10-20 feet distance between varieties so that they don't risk cross-pollinating. Some growers do grow beans successfully without cross-pollination, but it depends on number and variety of pollinators in the area. We don't have the space to grow all these varieties, but will grow some this year and some next. And did I mention how beautiful these beans are - we especially love the Orca Beans, Sadie's Horse Beans, Tiger's Eye, Annie Jackson Bean, and the Candy Beans. Take a look below!