Why this heirloom? An old Italian favourite suited for use as a dried bean — this is regarded as the best bean for minestrone soup! Also known as ‘Cranberry Bean’ because of the unique colour of the pods and beans. Dating back to the early 1900s the pod is inedible, however the beans inside are a real treat. They lose some colour when cooked, but their flavour is nutty and creamy, making them the ideal side-dish alongside winter classics. Although not strictly a climbing bean, plant near a teepee or trellis to improve your harvest. Can be eaten fresh but is best dried. Growing tips: Plant in a well-drained soil in full sun after the last frost. Mulch to protect the shallow root system. Water regularly. Provide support to maximise yield.