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‘Tarbais’ and ‘Coco de Paimpol’ Beans and Herbs offer an heirloom bean list for Bean Club members. Just order some beans and you become a member. They offer the best range of heritage beans in the UK.


Black Turtle Beans

Italian beans Seeds of Italy supply a good range of ‘Borlotti’ and some ‘Cannelloni’ beans. They provided the ‘Zolfino’ bean as part of their selection of dry foods. The Heritage Seed Library of Garden Organic, for which membership is required, lists several very good heritage beans for shelling and drying. Tatgut in Southern Germany, started by Patrick Kaiser, aims to preserve historical varieties of vegetables. He lists some of my favourite beans, mainly from Southern Germany and Austria. Sebastien and Terry of Secret Seed Cartel garden in France ‘aim to cultivate and share endangered and heirloom seed with the world’. They offer some excellent beans from France and Spain. Hodmedods promote the growing of British pulses, grains and seeds. Last year, for the first time, they offered a range of beans produced by British growers. Buy a bag, eat most and sow the rest.

“Susan Young’s personal love of beans is infectious and she persuasively sets out why we should all be growing and eating more beans, for our own and the planet ’s sake .”

Nick Saltmarsh, Hodmedods

Susan Young is a retired teacher. She gardens on two acres in the Wye Valley, experimenting with bean varieties and maintaining a wildflower meadow. Her new book, Growing Beans: A Diet for Healthy People and Planet is available from PM’s online shop:

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