Arikara Yellow Bush Dry Bean
'Arikara Yellow' dry bush bean seeds.

Arikara Yellow Bush Dry Bean

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Arikara Yellow Slow Food USA - Ark of Taste Certified Naturally Grown Seed

80 days — It is an early maturing, determinate, compact, bush-type heirloom variety that produces tannish-yellow beans with a dark ring around the eye. 'Arikara Yellow' is drought tolerant and reportedly exhibits moderate resistance to white mold. Although primarily used as a dry bean, it can also be harvested at about 45 days, when it is young and tender, as a snap bean.

It was commercially introduced as 'Yellow Indian' by the Oscar Will Seed Company in the 1880s, it was later renamed to 'Arikara Yellow'. A landrace variety, Mr. Will collected the bean from local Indians in the vicinity of Fort Berthold in South Dakota.

Although Will is who helped this bean reach a broad gardening public, its "discovery" is credited to the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It seems that it was a staple food crop of the Arikara people and helped to sustain the expedition's members during the difficult winter of 1805 at Fort Mandan.[2]

By 1810, Thomas Jefferson had already been growing the bean, which he referred to a "Ricara," for two years. In a letter dated October 6, 1810 to renowned botanist, Benjamin S. Barton, President Jefferson wrote, ". . . you expressed a wish to have some Ricara snap beans . . . brought from the Western side of the continent by Govr. Lewis. The Ricara bean is one of the most excellent we have had: I have cultivated them plentifully for the table two years."[1]

Listed in McMahon's 1815 nursery catalog, 'Arikara Yellow' was one of the first plants collected by the Lewis & Clark Expedition to be made available commercially.[3] Now quite rare, it is listed by Slow Food USA as being seriously threatened and has been added to their "Ark of Taste" registry. USDA accession number PI 633617. Each packet contains one ounce, which is approximately 60 seeds.

- Although we continue to select for the traits described above and clean up the variety, do not be surprised if you experience a small percentage of plant variation -
Highly recommended. Very smooth and not grainy.
Makes a great tasting shelly bean. As a dry bean it makes wonderful soup. Very smooth and not grainy. We give it a six foot trellis to make it easier to pick. More of a continuous crop instead of one main crop. Highly recommended.
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Reviewed by: (Verified Buyer)  from Michigan UP. on 3/7/2019
Sweet and Easy
This is an easy bean to grow, harvest and shell, with good quality and yield. I had a bad year for beans and still got back about five times as many beans as I planted. They tend to fall apart if cooked very long and has a sweet taste that doesn't work for everything. I like to add some to baked beans to thicken the sauce and add some natural sweetness.
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Reviewed by: (Verified Buyer)  from Gaylord, Michigan. on 10/4/2019
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