Kentucky Wonder (58-72 days)
Also known as "Old Homestead" & before 1864 as "Texas Pole"
Kentucky Wonder is a classic, popular pole bean that appeared sometime in the 1850s. Although it had many names, it has faithfully made its way into seed catalogs every year since. Talk about reliability and dependability! What makes Kentucky Wonder so special that over 84 U.S. seed companies still carry it?
1936 James Seeds says about the "improved" cultivar...
"A selection from this popular Pole Bean, which is of better quality and more heavy bearing than ordinary strains. The flavor is sweet and delicate; the pods are a deep green. 7 inches long and nearly 1/2 inch through, solid and deeply creased, and are entirely stringless until too old for use. The pods are clustered up the poles so thickly that they overlap each other like shingles, and they can be gathered in handfuls. There is no need to plant a succession of beans if you grow this variety; just keep the plants picked clean of mature pods at all times and you will gather tender beans until heavy frost."
Steve Solmon's Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades says this about Kentucky Wonder....
"The best variety for dry-gardening is Kentucky Wonder Brown Seeded, not dubbed Old Homestead for nothing. Space 1 foot apart on rows 4 feet apart. Even when allowed to sprawl without poles or trellises you'll get a decent yield of delicious dry seed that tastes a lot like pinto beans."
Kentucky Wonder makes a great green bean to can! Harvest younger to keep them from producing any strings.
My 1913 copy of California Vegetables by Wickson says "The best climbing bean for most California situations is the Kentucky Wonder or Old Homestead, which bears a mass of pods when grown to a six foot pole. It is quite hardy and can be safely planted a week or more before many other varieties. It is a medium early bean and takes very readily to the poles; wonderfully prolific, the veins being actually loaded from top to bottom with pods from six to nine inches in length; as string beans the pods are nearly round, tender and very solid".
They call this the Texas Pole bean for a good reason! This is one of the best heirloom bean seeds for those hot Texas summers. My grandparents taught me long ago the value of Kentucky wonder as a sure summertime provider of great green beans. Many a day I spent on the porch swing snapping green beans and listening to my grandparents tell tall Texas tales. And many a night I enjoyed eating them seasoned with smoked bacon. ~FJ
Recommended by the Following State Universities or Ag Extension Offices as a variety that performs well for their region. IL, OR, TX
As a little girl, my mom always had these beans. They would bear from early summer til frost. No other bean lives up to the quality and taste of Kentucky Wonder beans.
Great crop! They taste amazing and we can’t hardly keep up with picking them.
Growing nicely haven’t tasted yet
Organic Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean Seed