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Hidatsa Shield Beans

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Phaseolus vulgaris
Hidatsa Shield Beans (90 days)

Sustainably Grown 

Seed package contains 1 oz. or about 50 beans.

Deep in the Missouri River Valley of North Dakota the Hidatsa Indians grew this pole type drying bean in their corn fields.  The Indians were masters of growing plants that were helpful to each other such as the "Three Sisters".

How the Three Sisters work...Beans/Corn/Squash
The Indians planted the corn first, once it was a few inches in height, they planted the Hidatsa beans at the base of each corn stalks.  Normally 3-4 Hidatsa seeds per corn stalk.  Then they planted squash. 

This is how that works out...the corn gives the beans something to grow on.  The Hidatsa beans fix nitrogen at the base of the corn, helping this hungry veggie grow.  And last but not least the large squash leaves take over the ground, crowding out the weeds, and shading the ground as well saving precious moisture.

Hidatsa beans are very prolific and make a great crop of dried beans to put away for the winter.  You need to figure on planting a number of them if you want pounds put away for your pantry.  Try the Three Sisters method in the corn patch!

TIP  Let your beans dry on the vine unless weather threatens, then pull and hang the entire plant upside down in the barn/garage to dry.  Now take a clean garbage can or burlap bag and put your Hidatsa beans in it.  Now, the fun part.  Beat the heck out of the beans.  If you are using a burlap bag you can beat it on the floor or stomp on it.  The idea is to get all the Hidatsa beans free of their shells.  Now take this combination of beans and shells to winnow.  That means, by either using a fan or the wind let the shells blow away.  I use two big Rubbermaid containers.  One empty on the ground and the other full of beans I slowly dump into the empty one letting the chaff blow out (fan or wind).  That is it!  Now you have your own 100% organic dry beans ready to feed your family anytime you want!  Not to mention all the money you will save. 

Featured on Slow Foods Ark of Taste


Seed Planting Depth

Seeds per ounce

Germination Temperature

Days to Germination

Row Spacing

Plant Spacing

100' Row Yield


1.25" 60-150 70 7-10 24" 4-6" 24 lb. (fresh) Full

Planting Tips:

50-60 days for green, 100+ days for dry beans.  Some vines can reach 12’ long, so provide adequate support.  Not cold tolerant, beans need warm soil of 65 degrees or better.  Regular harvesting of the young pods will ensure a greater yield.  Grows best in full sun with well watered soil.  Boost yields and germination by adding inoculants.

Make sure to provide adequate support for these vigorous climbers!  A strong fence or twine hung on a strong pole will give them plenty of room to grow and good harvest yields.

Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - don't let the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely, and don't overwater and possibly have them rot.


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