FRENCH Haricot Tarbais, POLE Bean Seeds -
Haricot Tarbais is the traditional bean used in France for cassoulet. This oven braised stew of sausage, meat and beans is traditional winter fair. These beans come from a small village in the south of France named Tarbais, although their origin was the New World, pre-sixteenth century. Haricot Tarbais are a type of pole bean. The beans are planted at the same time as corn. This enables the corn stalk to act as the pole for the beans. Once the beans are fully mature they must be harvested. However, since they are entangled in corn they must be harvested by hand. This labor-intensive process happens in early September every year. Tarbais Beans have a very thin skin and a subtle taste.
Bean pods are ready to pick when they are mature and dried down. 95 days until full maturity. Packet contains approximately 50 seeds grown naturally with love and care.
Where to grow:
Beans prefer to grow in moist, fertile soil in a sunny, sheltered spot away from strong winds. Prepare the soil for planting by digging over and adding plenty of organic material, this will help to improve the soil's moisture-retaining ability and fertility. Beans can also be grown in pots. Choose pots at least 45cm (18in) in diameter and make sure there are plenty of drainage holes. Fill with a mixture of equal parts loam-based compost and loam-free compost.
Even when temperatures are not below freezing, cold air can damage bean plants, so don't plant too early. Plant outdoors only after the last frosts.
Sowing seeds early indoors gives a faster and more reliable germination rate, particularly for runner beans. At the end of April sow a single bean seed, 4cm (1.5in) deep, in a 7.5cm (3in) pot filled with multipurpose compost. Water well, label and place on a sunny windowsill to germinate. Seedlings will be ready to plant out after about three weeks. Before planting, put in a cold frame to acclimatise.
Alternatively, beans can be sown directly in the soil between the second half of May and the middle of June. Plant two seeds next to your support about 5cm (2in) deep. Water well. After germination remove the smaller and less robust of the two young plants. As they grow, ensure the plants continue to twine around their canes.