Verna's Bush Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris); Heirloom; Bush bean; Cranberry type; Dual use: shelly or dry; a Wisconsin Connection variety; a Withee & Wanigan Bean Collection variety;
One of seedsman John Withee's painted jewels, Verna's Bush produces large dry beans known for their nutty hearty flavor and creamy texture. Plants mature a bit later than most bush beans, their pink flowers giving way to pods patterned with red stripes.
Verna Gillingham (1897-1995) of Richland County Wisconsin, the bean's namesake, asserted that it was grown by her family for as long as she could remember. In the 1940's she and her husband Charles (1897-1992) gifted the bean to young Wilfred Hilleshiem (1919-2003) a logger working for them. In 1976 Wilfred passed the bean to his daughter Dawn Gajdosik who favored the treasured family heirloom as a shelly bean.
"We have tried to maintain the seed and can proudly say, at age 73, I'm going to continue to grow them as long as I can."