Lazy Housewife Pole Bean
Completely string-less beans. Brought to America by German immigrants and first listed in W. Atlee Burpee’s 1888 catalog, these beans were so-named because they were the first beans to not require destringing! "We presume it derives its name, which seems discourteous, from its immense productiveness making it easy to gather..."
Plants bear continuously until frost. One of the oldest documented beans and very productive.
Originally cultivated in Central America, from Mexico to Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The smaller beans are thought to have been cultivated in Mexico as long as 7,000 years ago, while the larger beans were cultivated in Peru starting 8,000 years ago. High in protein, easy to grow, dry and cook, they have sustained mankind for millennia.
Snap, Shell, Dry
For Snap Beans, wait until they are about pencil size, but harvest before the beans inside the pods become lumpy. Snap beans, are snapped, strings removed and eaten fresh or cooked.
For Fresh Shell Beans, let the seeds in the pods get good and fat. You shell/remove the green beans from the pod and they are eaten fresh or cooked.
For Dried Beans, let the pods get brown and dry on the plant. Pick them before they can split open and spread out to finish drying. Remove from dried pods and store. Dried beans are usually soaked and cooked.
Pole beans need support to grow on, either poles, a trellis or fence.
This is the first year that I have grown this variety of pole bean; I got it because of the name and wanted to see how it would do. I planted them next to the deck because the rabbits don't come this close, and the plants were happy with their location. Lots of blossoms, lush foliage, beans have excellent flavor. Were perfect for my Salad Nicoise. Will grow again.
Fort Gibson Historic Site grew the Lazy Housewife last year in our heritage garden. No soil preparation was required and very little maintenance. The beans produced all the way through the season. For those not accustomed to growing produce this old on the genetic scale, it was a little tougher but if cooked by 1800's standards, they were perfect.
I have grown Lazy Housewife beans for several years and have been very happy with their production of a never ending supply of delicious green beans. I grow them in rich organic soil and have not had any problems with disease or insect infestations. These beans thrive in the foothills of north central West Virginia.