The story of the heirloom Cherokee Trail of Tears bean is a sad one– seed for this bean was carried by the Cherokee tribe during their long march on the Trail of Tears in 1838. But it’s also the story of resilience and cultural continuity in the face of change. The fact that this heirloom bean is still maintained to day is testament enough!
Fitting its resilient, fighting backstory, we acquired this seed during an Occupy Wall Street-led March Against Monsanto seed swap in 2011. Farmers and their friends from Upstate and Downstate alike gathered to protest Monsanto and the spread of GMO crops, listen to speeches, and freely trade open-pollinated seeds that carry no patents or ownership rights.
It doesn’t hurt that this bean is a vigorous, fast grower whose fruits are both bountiful and delicious. A pole-type bean requiring trellising, Cherokee Trail of Tears bears many 6-8″ green pods with a rosy blush. Beans can be harvested young for snap beans or left on the plant until full maturity for dry beans.
- Date: Direct Seed April 15 – July 15 1
- Planting Depth: 1 in.
- Germination Rate: 99%
- For Raised Beds: Space plants out 2-3 in., leaving 6 in. between rows.
- For Containers: Doesn’t have a deep root system, so can be grown in containers as shallow as window boxes. You can pack these seeds in pretty tight, leaving 2-3 in. spacing between plants.