Harvest Continues—The Soup is On!

Disclaimer: The Franklin County Harvest Bloggers Tour was sponsored by the The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce & Franklin County Farm Bureau who provided our lodging, meals and activities. All opinions and thoughts are totally my own.

Remember awhile back when I was part of a fabulous Blogger Weekend in Franklin County?  If you want to read a couple posts about it you can click here and here and here and here to catch up on what the fun included.  But wait–there’s more!  Of course there is more—I still have not told you about some of the best parts of the weekend so today please join me as I share a bit more! (If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can really see all the goodies!)


They definitely went over the top when they put together our goodie bags! The black Iowa Farm Bureau bag was filled to the the top by the time the weekend was over with fabulous items including cookbooks, pens, pencils, wine, a cute painted pumpkin which is still on my doorstep, oven mitts (did Latham Hi Tech Seeds really know my penchant for burning myself?), a couple of fun farm animals that will go in my “someday for the grandchildren box” and an assortment of other fabulous items.

One of the great things in the bag was a lovely mason jar filled with Heirloom beans from the historic Harriman-Nielsen Farm. 

bean collage

The Harriman-Nielsen Historic Farm is a farmstead that dates back to the 1880’s.  The house was built b Dr. O. B. Harriman in 1880.  The Skow family then lived in the house form 1910-1920 and the Neilsen family purchased the home in 1920.  The Franklin County Historical Society is now restoring the property and it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chris and I were unable to attend the Harriman-Nielsen Fall Festival that weekend because he had to catch a flight back to Texas but being able to get a jar of these beans in my goodie bag made me feel that at least I got to participate in a bit of the harvest festival fun without being there.  They even provided a nice recipe to go with the beans so that is the perfect answer for a chilly fall day.

They even provide a bit of history on the back of the recipe card about the history of the heirloom beans :

     In 1620 when the first settlers to America arrived in tho sentry, they brought precious cargo that would enable them to survive in the new world.  Included in that cargo was a bean variety that still survives today.  As our forefathers learned about the foods of America, they shared with the Native Americans and received some new bean varieties.

During this past summer, five of these original heirloom bean varieties were grown right here in the Harriman-Nielsen garden. This is probably not the first time these varieties were grown here as the Harriman, Skow and Nielsen families, no doubt, planted them in their gardens through the years.  But this may be the first time that this many people have shared ham and been soup at this historic setting.

The five heirloom bean varieties include:

  1. Mayflower—said to have been brought over on the Mayflower in 1620 and followed by a long history of being circulated in the Carolinas–these are small cream seeds with maroon markings.

  2. Lina Cisco’s Bird Egg—these beans were brought to Missouri by covered wagon in the 1880’s –large tan bean with maroon markings.

  3. Speckled Cranberry—brought to America from England about 1825–undoubtedly the best pole horticultural bean and is speckled cranberry in color.

  4. Cherokee Trail of Tears–The Cherokee tribe carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, in infamous winter death march from October 1838 in the Smoky Mountains to March 26, 1839 leaving a trail of 4,000 graves—it is jet black in color

  5. Golden Lima—beautiful, flattened, golden beans weigh dark striping.  No history has been found on this variety.

What a wonderful gift we received when we received this little jar of heirloom beans.  It make me smile to think of the history of this place and of all of those that have gone before us.

What piece of history are you remembering today?


  1. History??? Yesterday!!! Such fun!!!!! Hugs………………

  2. I’m remembering sister-in-law’s birthday. 🙂

  3. Your soup photo on Facebook looked great! I’ve been using old pot holders from college and just started using the Latham oven mitt. It’s fantastic.

    • I have to dig mine out of the bag—-i just stashed all that stuff and didn’t sort through it but I am working my way through writing more posts so I need to dig through it and just put everything away where it belongs. Tomorrow’s post is the soup. It turned out yummy.

  4. Loved the history update.

  5. Northern Iowa really knows how to promote its area and roll out the welcome. Other places (ahem, Minnesota) could learn from this.

    I have to think already this morning. History? Huh. Let me think awhile longer…

    • I bet Minnesota does—they have a conference at least that my fellow bloggers went to. I bet there is stuff going on —you just have to find the right person who knows about it.

  6. Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat…..

  7. I wish I could come and have as much fun!

  8. And just look how much money we are helping to give them(Comments for a Cause) with our mirth and banter. I feel vindicated, or in keeping with the above theme.. “wind-dicated”..

  9. What a history those beans have. My mom used to cook those speckled cranberry beans.

  10. I thought those beans were maybe Jelly Bellies!


  1. […] and time to crank up the crock pots and start ladling out some delicious soup.  If you read my post yesterday you saw that I received some lovely beans from Harriman-Nielsen Farm when I was on the Franklin […]

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