Why I Love Emerite Pole Beans

Emerite pole beans are my favorite green bean to grow. I’ve grown them since discovering them more than ten years ago, even though it seems harder each year to find seed companies that carry them (I’ve kept a few each year, but we eat most of them, so it’s hard to remember to let some grow to seed-saving stage!).

This is a mystery to me- why don’t more people grow these beans? I’ve tried many others, including the mainstays of Kentucky and Blue Lake (and Kentucky Blue cross)- but I’ve found them to be stringy and tough with inconsistent production, at least where I live.

I sure don’t want to keep this great bean a secret and I’d love to have more people growing it, so I thought I’d do my part and share with you the reasons why I love Emerite pole beans (and where you can find seed if you’d like to try them):

1. The are a “filet” type bean- but unlike the small bush types you may be used to! These beans can be picked at all stages– the 4-inch thin filet style (which is great at the beginning of the season when you can’t wait for the first beans!), all the way up to a mature 7 to 8-inch round bean.

2. Because they are a filet, they are never stringy or tough– even when they’ve been left to mature to a large bean. Never.

3. They produce a lot during the main season. This year my 10-foot row has produced enough for us to eat tons of fresh and still have 10 quart bags in the freezer for the winter.

4. They may slow down after the large main harvest, even losing a lot of leaves in the hot last days of August like the photo above- but don’t give up on them! As soon as the weather turns “fall-ish” with cooler temps and some rain, they will start leafing out again and producing flowers and beans- all the way until the first frost.

And I LOVE eating fresh green beans in October.

The bush beans? Un-un. They are gone. Done for. Outta here.

And looking at these bush beans bring me to my last reason, which isn’t limited to Emerite, but all pole beans, I guess-

5. They are so much easier to pick than bush beans! Umm, do you like to hunch over, struggling to find the ripe beans on a 2-foot tall plant- often damaging the plant in the process – or stand up and pluck the beans you can easily see are ready and hanging almost at eye level? That’s a no-brainer for me, especially with my creaky back.

Shoot, now I remember another reason I like pole beans better than bush, which totally ruins my goal of keeping to five reasons...

6. I only have to plant pole beans once. No succession planting is needed like with bush beans. It’s true that poles take a little longer to start producing, so I do plant a few bush beans at the same time to give us the earlies, but there’s just no comparison to the longevity of poles.

Have I convinced you to grow some next season yet? Here are some of the seed companies that sell Emerite seed: Renee’s Garden Seeds, Vermont Bean Seeds, and Pinetree Garden Seeds.

While you think about it, I’m going to pick another basket of beans for tonight’s dinner.*smile*






  1. says

    Well, you’ve officially inspired me to start a new Pinterest board of plants I want to try.
    I’m still getting beans off of our plants, but they’re definitely tough if you miss your opportunity of picking them at “just the right size”.
    I’m already looking forward to spring. :o)

  2. says

    Like you, I have been planting Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake forever. I think you have convinced me to try the Emerite Pole Bean next year! (I’m even hoping to start a little seed saving section of my garden strictly for saving seed for harvest for planting the following year. We’ll see how tht goes!) Pole beans just seem to have a much better bean flavor. Harvesting is, however, nearly as difficult as the bush types, for me. I have to get on a ladder to harvest the ones growing at the top of the teepees! That’s okay ~ I love green beens that it is worth the extra effort!
    Thanks for sharing the scorces, too!

  3. Diana says

    Putting them on my list of beans to consider. I pretty much just plant Chinese long beans (asparagus beans), a pole bean, which seems to do well in our extreme heat and humidity.

  4. Anonymous says

    I have this idea – kind of a pipedream at the moment – of planting something that grows really tall on some sort of trellis on the west face of the house. For me, something that produces food seems more practical than flowers. This would serve a dual purpose of food and shading the house from the hot afternoon sun. But, living in a subdivision – not sure how that would go over. Thinking I’ll chance it. These beans sound perfect.

    brenda from arkansas

  5. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Mindy- That’s a great idea for Pinterest! I might have to steal it. :-)

    Diana- Hope they work for you as well, though I don’t know about extreme heat and humidity where I live. 😉

    Lady Farmer- I make my trellis only about 6 feet tall- the bean just come on back down as they grow, which puts them right at my level again!

    Brenda- I think climbing beans are lovely to look at- these have a pretty purple flower when they are blooming. Some people grow Scarlet Runner Beans just for the flowers (though they are edible- just VERY beany, shall we say?).

  6. says

    I’m primarily a flower gardener, aside from herbs and peppers, but I’m considering growing a pole bean too, as they are my favorite (beans) and I don’t want to waste the ground space. I live in a hot summer climate… the bounceback is very important for me. I think I’m going to try these.

  7. Anonymous says

    I have also been growing Emerite beans for over 10 years and have tried others over the years but always come back to Emerite as they are the best. My wife will not eat stringy beans and Emerite beans have no strings. I have given fresh beans to friends over the years as I plant a 32 foot row and get overwhelmed in the peak season and always get the “those are the best beans I have ever had..what kind are they?” Love them with onions and garlic in the frying pan.

    North Carolina country gardner

  8. Katie says

    I’ve been planting Emerite beans for roughly 20 years! My neighbors (and my kids) run for cover when they see me coming with endless bags of beans. Seriously though, they are the best, longest producing, easy to grow beans. The last couple of years, I’ve also been growing a wax french filet (French Gold) from Renee’s Seeds. Sometimes, they even out produce the Emerite! I grow both on a 7″ high tunnel created with 2×2 posts and top and bottom stringers with nylon vegetable netting (the white 7″ square soft kind). The two side sections are attached across the top at 3 spots in an 8 foot run and are roughly 3 feet apart. I’m a bit ashamed to say, the beans have been growing in the same location in the garden for most of the 20 years, but I do amend annually with compost. The last couple of years, the crops have been a bit lighter, but I think it has more to do with encroaching shade from 20 years of tree growth!

  9. Linda Ray says

    No one mentioned one of the big reasons. The beans themselves are exquisite. The color is a gorgeous springtime green even in this incredibly hot and dry climate (today is cool because the wind came up. It’s 90º and 26% humidity). The beans are mostly straight. These are one of the few beans I would serve whole and lightly steamed. Mostly I like green beans Southern style, cooked for 3 days (well not QUITE that long LOL) but these are excellent without the long cooking. Long live Emerites.

  10. says

    Have had great luck two years running with Violet Podded Stringless (pole beans) from Territorial Seed. Last summer was very cool here in Puget Sound but they did well and produced well into fall. This summer was much sunnier and they are going crazy! The biggest leaves, tallest vines (over 12 feet on bamboo tripods), and heaviest production of BIG beans I have ever seen. Plus they are beautiful plants, with bright green foliage, pretty purple flowers, and purple vines and pods (which turn green when you cook them and taste great). Can’t recommend them highly enough!

  11. says

    You’ll love Louisiana Purple Pod! We had a really hot, dry year last year, and they were great. We had a really wet, pretty cool summer this year, and they were great. Sweet, stringless, and beautiful. They turn green when you cook them. Rattlesnake is also dependable and beautiful. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has both.

  12. Mike says

    I have been planting Emerite pole beans for a l-o-o-o-n-g time and recommending them for the same reasons as well. As a now single “senior citizen”, I built a tepee trellis a few years ago and only plant about 14 seeds. I eat fresh beans for months and freeze more for winter enjoyment. I love their long season, picking beans until frost arrives here in the mountains.

  13. Lynn Mc. says

    I bought Emerite seedlings for my garden. I had never heard of them but I heard they were small and tender and I love that they are pole beans. In searching the internet about them I came across your blog. Thank you so much for the information. I’m signing up to receive your updates.


    • says

      So glad to read this, Lynn! I hope you will find lots more useful information. :) And I know you’ll love the beans – can’t wait until we get our new crop this year!

  14. Jami R says

    Hi! How fun to find another gardening Jami who spells her name the same unusual way. :) I just bought a pack of emirate pole filet beans (Renee’s) on a whim. I’ve never grown green beans before. Searching the internet to find out how tall of a trellis I need, I came across your blog. I’m even more excited about growing these beans now! I read your comment that your trellis is about six feet and the vines grow back down after that. Thank you so much for the info! I’m subscribing, too. – Jami from Northern Cal

    • says

      Yes – and did you get people pronouncing your name “jam-ee” when growing up, too? My mom left off the e because she decided that was for boys and I grew up never getting to have all those name things everyone else did (jewelry, bike plates, etc) – thanks, mom. 😉

      So glad to have you join the AOC crew, Jami – and I’m sure you will like the beans like we do – they are so tender & sweet!

  15. Jami R says

    Yes, I got “jam-ee,” too. And none of the name things. I still have my childhood Christmas stocking knitted by my aunt – with my name spelled incorrectly. I treasure it, anyway.

      • Jami R says

        Jami- I had to come back to report that I am SO happy I grew these! I am having them for dinner for the second night now and they are fantastic!!

        • says

          Yeah, Jami! I am also growing a row of Fortex filet pole beans next to my Emerite this year – I did it last year and I found they were a good combo to grow together, as the Fortex produced in that space where the Emerite takes a break before picking up again in the fall.

  16. Ron Mitchell says

    Jami………………just wondering what would happen if you let some go to the dry seed stage. They are so productive that I was wondering about saving some seeds for winter soups. Do they hold up well in the boiling, etc.?

  17. Christie Pollard says

    Thank you for your instructions for freezing green beans without blanching. i tried it tonight. I really like the idea since it is so quick and simple – also, you can easily add to the bag.

    I also love the French Emerite Pole Beans. I planted half emite and half Kentucky Wonder this year. There is no comparison. The Emerite came up faster, produced quicker and more prolifically. They are also much more tender and come out of the freezer better tasting. I found the seeds on several websites including Amazon. Grow organic has the best price.

    • says

      Yeah! Another Emerite bean convert. :) I also grow half a row of Fortex now, too, since the Emerite tend to take a ‘break’ around August before producing again until frost and the Fortex fills the spot. It’s also a French style bean, but grows really long and stays surprisingly tender.

        • says

          It takes maybe a week longer, but then goes just as long. It’s fun to pick the long beans (sometimes 12″!!) and they’re still tender!

  18. says

    Emerite pole beans are one of my favorites, too. Always reliable and delicious! I like Romano pole beans, too. There are varieties that stay wonderfully tasty and tender at all sizes. Yum.

    Thanks for the heads up about freezing without blanching – I don’t freeze that many beans, normally, but the blanching is tiresome!

    • says

      I wish they weren’t so hard to find, Lisa! Why don’t more companies carry this variety? We usually eat the beans until the frost kills them, so I never remember to save seeds – I’m going to have to this year, just to make sure I’ve got some to replant!

      • says

        Jami, I think because Emerite was originally a French filet pole bean variety (apparently introduced by Vilmorin, a French seed company) — I poked around on Google to find out about where it came from.

        So here in this country, it’s largely been carried by specialty seed companies like Renee’s. She’s searched for great vegetable varieties for years to offer, as have other smaller vegetable garden seed companies.

        It’s apparently a OP variety so you could save your own seed if you’re inclined to do so!

        Here was my musing on Emerite and Romano pole beans this evening! Thanks for the inspiration.

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