Among the hundreds of beans in my collection, the pole beans tend to be my favourites. They seem to exhibit greater extremes of variation and of course they're much heavier yielding, if somewhat later.
For many gardeners the obstacle is getting poles; well, I have 85 acres of poles but I don't grow most of my pole beans on poles – not the dry beans anyway – but rather on my sunflowers and amaranth, which gives me a double yield on the same land. Many of my favourite cooking/eating varieties, like Jacob's Cattle and pintos, are bush types, or so I thought. Then I discovered Roark, a pole form of the common pinto.
I got my seeds from a friend, Steve Bellavia, who was having trouble maintaining his large bean collection and was happy to unload some of it on me. I was happy to get it, and this serendipitous find has become one of the principle beans in my diet (a vegan diet in which dry beans play an important role). I intend to keep it going and further share it with others.