Hidatsa Shield Bean
Seed Count: Approx. 15 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 90
Pole variety, Snap/Dry Bean
Description: This beautiful, large, plump bean is characterized by having a white underside, and a caramel colored top with dark brown markings. This bean is great because it can be harvested throughout the growing season as fresh green beans early in the season, followed by fresh shelled beans, and then at the end of the season, they can be harvested as dry beans for long-term storage. This variety is native to North Dakota, grown by the Hidatsa tribe near the Missouri River. The Hidatsa Shield bean variety has wonderful flavor and cooking qualities. It can be used in soups and stews, because it reheats well, without falling apart. It can also be used instead of chickpeas to make a yummy humus. On top of its superb taste, this bean is also super drought and heat tolerant, and is one of the most productive dry beans you could grow.
How To Grow
Sowing: Sow in average soil, in a sunny location, after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils. Sow seeds 3 inches apart, in rows 24 inches apart, and cover with 1-2 inches of soil. For a continuous crop sow new seeds every two weeks. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions. Thin to 6 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Beans do great companion planted with beets, marigolds, carrots, celery, swiss chard, corn, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, strawberry, radish and cabbage. However, avoid growing near all members of the allium family, and sunflowers.
Growing: In dry weather, keep soil well watered. Plants need about 2-3 inches of water per week during the growing season. Make sure foliage has time to dry in order to reduce disease. These beans grow as vines, and will need 8-9 feet trellises or a fence to grow on.
Harvesting: Pick the beans for fresh eating, and check the vines often. Fully mature beans can be dried and used as soup beans. Fresh beans are best used immediately, but will keep in the fridge for several days. To harvest dry beans or to save seeds, allow for the pods to completely dry on the plant. If frost or rainy weather conditions threaten, pull the plants, and dry in a cool, dry place indoors. Beans should be completely dry 10-15 days later. Remove the seeds from the pods by hand, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 3 years.