The Fastest bean: coming to an end

What a ride bean-friends, what a growth!

As October creeps in, and the summer heat abruptly leaves way to freezing cold – in Germany at least – what better occasion to look back on where the beans started, and where they are now.

In May, as the soil was freezing cold as well in the UK, Susan Young – contestant number 5 with a Gigantes bean – started the bean germination by a paper towel method, for extra speed. Originating from Chania Creta, it found its new home in Susan Young was sitting indoors, in a warm cupboard. And it paid off, with the bean reaching one meter in 28 days!

Participants from a wide array of different countries joined the competition, and as did their beans.

In Germany, beans get sown after the “Ice Saints”, five days of in May after which the weather gets warmer.

The three branches of the bean tipi Photo: Gabi Horn

Gabi Horn from ÖBZ’s bean “Kroatische Stange” (Croatian pole) reached one meter on july third, one one pole of the bean tipi at least, as it had reached two meters on the other one, and barely half of one meter, on the third one. Daniela Dotzler also joined from Germany, with beans with exciting names like June 11th. Virginia also had a lot of bean adventures, with the contest bean being overgrown by hops. Other unidentified beans in the bean tipi in her garden did grow.

The bean of Mara Welton from the USA, “Cherokee trail of tears” reached impressive heights, going way past the roof of her house.

The Global Bean team was lucky to hear stories about beans directly from her at the Terra Madre event in Torino. In the meantime, some background on the Cherokee trail of tears bean:

“The Cherokee Trail of Tears bean memorializes the forced relocation of the Cherokee Indians in the mid-nineteenth century. They carried this bean throughout this infamous walk, which became the death march for thousands of Cherokees; hence the ‘Trail of Tears.’ In the face of its poignantly dismal history, the shiny, jet-black seeds are used with pride in many traditional American Indian dishes. The seeds are encased in six-inch, greenish-purple pods. These small attractive beans are dried before consumed, and have a delicious rich flavor. Source:

It celebrated a lot of milestones along the way: Sown on May 16th, Emerged on May 24th, 23 cm on June 15th, one meter on June 30th, but it did not stop there, and reached 2m on July 5th! 

Sepaking of achievements, Annigje Jacobs’ bean “Chair de Chéu” – meaning “flesh”, because of the color of the bean – from Burgundy, France, was not not expected to reach one meter, but it ended up passing the one-meter mark!

The take-away: different climates, different sowing times, but in the end, all reached the goal! But, for winning purposes, we will compare the time the beans needed, and announce the winners mid-October.

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