(85 days) Open-pollinated. Back in the ’30s, quite near here over on Knox Ridge, a farmer named Bantam passed along some bean seeds he liked to his mailman. Skip ahead to 2015. Fedco staffer Megan O’Brien had just bought a farm in the area and wanted to grow local dry beans. She asked Cedric, brother of the prior farm owner, if he’d heard of Maine Sunset. In typical Maine fashion, he hedged for a bit—then produced a coffee can of beans. His father was the mailman and his family had been growing the seeds all along on that very same land. His parents had discovered the beans “ripen to the fully dry stage somewhat earlier than other favorites like Jakes and Yellow Eye and were every bit as good as baked beans.” So, from the original strain, Sunset returns to our catalog after a long hiatus. An everbearing variation of the Soldier-type featuring beautiful plump round-oval ivory-white beans irregularly splotched with brownish-maroon splashes around the hilum. A wonderful baking bean with a creamy texture and rich flavor when cooked, comparable to Maine Yellow Eye. Good yielder. ①
337 Maine Sunset - Sustainably Grown
Shell and Dry Beans
Phaseolus vulgaris2 oz packet sows 25 ft; 1 lb, 200 ft. All bush beans except where noted.
Culture: In conditions of high nitrogen fertility some bush beans may develop vines in moist hot weather. Tender, will not survive frost. Plant 3–4 seeds/ft in rows 24–30" apart. Pick frequently for maximum yields, but avoid disturbing foliage in wet weather to prevent spread of fungal diseases.
Harvest shell beans when the beans are plump inside pods. For dry beans allow pods to dry on the vine until pressing the beans with your fingernail leaves no indentation. If heavy rains threaten just before maturity, pull plants by the roots and hang them in a dry place to finish or pick pods, shell and finish drying indoors.