Grow a Row 2017: Petaluma Gold Rush Bean

Overview: Our “Grow a Row” program seeks committed seed savers in our area to grow Heritage seeds. Join other local gardeners to raise Heritage seeds for our local seed libraries.

Our 2017 crop selection was the Petaluma Gold Rush Bean. The beans helped supply our local city (seed) libraries. …where folks can “check out” the seeds (as you would a book), and return your ‘new’ seeds at the end of the season.

Our goal was to raise 50 pounds, for the Silicon Valley Grows! One Seed, One Community program to disperse to “Seed Libraries,” at our local city libraries, and to local farms and gardens …to help reestablish it.

Petaluma Gold Rush Bean

This bean is in the process of being boarded on our “Ark of Taste” – an international catalog of over 4,000 heritage endangered foods. The Slow Food Russian River chapter put this on that list, and so far it is on the U.S. list and is waiting review by the International Ark Commission.

It has been grown in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 150 years. The story tells of a Portuguese whaler, who was sailing from Peru and jumping ship in San Francisco during the Gold Rush era. He brought with him this bean and began farming.

The bean is described as an attractive multi-purpose bean: snap and dry bean. Petaluma Gold Rush beans have a creamy texture but hold their shape. The flavor is full and meaty; good in soups and salads.

This bean is described in “100 Vegetables and Where They Came From,” by William Woys; Weaver, 2000 pgs. 176-178.

Petaluma Gold Rush Bean is available but dear. It can be found at: rush.html
(from Oregon) Rush-Bean- OG/productinfo/2606/
(from North Bay)

A good description can be found at: petaluma-gold- rush.html

We want to identify dedicated seed savers in our area to be part of a group of committed growers for a California Heritage bean.


Petaluma Gold Rush Bean

“Petaluma Gold Rush Bean,” photo courtesy of:

Stay Posted for Next Season….Yellow Indian Woman Heirloom Beans ?!?!


The Ark of Taste is an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion.