Snow on the Mountain
90 to 120 days — Reportedly dating back into the early 1800s, 'Snow on the Mountain' is a rare variety and popular amongst heirloom gardeners. Grown primarily in the Southern United States, this is a long-season variety, requiring upwards of 90 days to reach the green shelling (butterbean) stage, and around 120 days to produce dry pods. That said, we raise it successfully here in Northwestern Oregon, sometimes requiring late season protection from the weather, and received our initial sample of seeds from a collector in New Hampshire.
The vines are heavy, vigorous, reach eight to ten feet in height, and therefore require strong support to keep them upright. 'Snow on the Mountain' is a very heavy yielding variety that produces pods containing two to four good-sized beans each. The dry beans are maroon in color with a splash of white around the eye, which as its name implies, gives it the appearance of a snow-capped mountain.
As mentioned previously, we received this bean in 2013 from Carol Drummond, a gardener and seed collector in New Hampshire. While living in Doyline, Louisiana in 1987, her neighbor gave her seeds that he had received years before from his grandfather. She told us, "It takes ninety days of warm weather, so I start mine inside two to three weeks before Memorial Day. I then plant them in a protected, south facing area that has a warmer micro-climate. They are prolific and cook up brown and have an unusual nutty taste. It would be terrible if this wonderful variety disappeared, and I do not understand why there are not more growers."
Each packet contains one ounce, which is about 50 seeds.