Alaska to Hawaii to Home - Magic Beans Transcend Geography

Industry Observer with Nature As Neighbors

Chaco Canyon Beans 


Several years ago, our daugther-in-law's father, also a dear friend, who loved gardening (and knew we loved gardening), offered us some beans he called “Chaco Canyon”. It is an heirloom that dates back to the Anasazi natives of the Southwest. Without knowing much about them, we trusted our friend and planted them. They thrived - and that summer we had some of the best fresh beans we had ever grown!  


The new green pods are very creamy and buttery, a wonderful alternative to the green beans we normally grow.  Sautéing them in butter with a little olive oil and garlic made them the centerpiece of any meal. Chaco Canyon beans are also a great shell or soup bean - just leave them on the vine and let them mature in the pod.  We didn’t have the chance to do that because we ate all the green ones! 


The following year, Dr. Cook developed a terminal cancer and died.  Our entire family was stunned and heartbroken to lose such a kind, loving soul. 


In his honor, we wanted to plant the Chaco Canyon beans again. But unfortunately, all the heirloom seed companies we contacted were out. One of the largest, Baker Seed Company had not stocked them since 2007. We continued to search every year for three years, hoping they would magically appear, but to no avail.


This Spring, intent on finding them, we Googled the beans again and found a mention of them in a gardening blog A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui.  So we contacted the author and explained that we were searching for Chaco Canyon beans - where could we buy some?  She responded and said she had saved some from a previous year and offered to send them to us.  We wanted to pay for the beans, the postage, etc., but she refused. And that is the heart of a true gardener - a  desire to share knowledge, bounty, and the love of digging in the dirt. 

The beans arrived this week (along with two other varieties she shared) and we immediately planted them.  We can’t wait to see them sprout and to nurture them into bean pods.  Although, this year, we will definitely save some seeds for next season.  It will be a bittersweet harvest as we honor Rick who graciously shared his appreciation of life, living, and gardening.  


What a journey - from Alaska to Hawaii to our home in Camas, Washington!  Those magic beans will do more than bear fruit - they will span time and geography to connect souls who share the love of living things, nature, and the magic of growing food from seeds. We are grateful that so many people share these common goals and soulfully contribute to this special connection. 


Posted by

Debb Janes  Bernie Stea
Call or Text 360-608-4900

We help buyers and sellers in Camas, Washougal, Brush Prairie/Hockinson, Salmon Creek, Felida, and other Vancouver, Washington Areas. 

We bring our passion for nature and beautiful environments to Real Estate. Multigenerational and family estates, country land and homes, and small farmsteads are our speciality.

We agree with our clients, "The true luxury of rural living is having elbowroom for the soul.


Comments (24)

JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

What an amazing story guys and how great is it that the gardener you contacted was willing to share.

May 27, 2018 10:49 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Debb & Bernie,
What a wonderful story and those beans will have an even greater significance because they were not easily come by.  I hope they are as good as you recall and, of course, your friend / in-law lives on as a special memory through something so simple as a bean.  Life is interesting that way. 

May 27, 2018 11:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD ,

I love this story and so glad you found some Chaco Canyon beans! I find true gardeners are very gracious and giving and you found one. When they grow..come back and show us..I'd love to see them, they have to be magical.

May 27, 2018 11:47 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such an amazing story and a great way to keep your dear friend in memory.  How very nice of that person in Hawaii, it is really wonderful to come across loving and caring people.

May 27, 2018 01:44 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Debb- I absolutely love your story about the Chaco Canyon Beans. And I love the beautiful gesture of wanting to plan them to honor daughter-in-law's father. Your love of your garden reminds me of my grandfather and how he loved to show his garden to anyone who visited. 

May 27, 2018 03:31 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

What a wonderful story.  I'm especially glad that you found a source to buy more of those special seeds.

May 27, 2018 03:48 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Many years ago I had some beens my friend got from a family member in Oklahoma and she called them Anasazi beans. I wonder if they are related to your bean pods.

May 27, 2018 05:51 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

What a kind and generous act....and a fitting way to honor the memory of your friend. 

May 28, 2018 05:15 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good luck with these beans in your garden. We will be watching for photographs.

Have a very special Memorial Day and an outstanding week.

May 28, 2018 06:14 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Debb and Bernie, reading your post brought tears to my eyes. What a special way to honor your friend and daughters in laws father. I hope you'll post a photo when the beans start to grow. 

May 28, 2018 06:57 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, this is a very sweet post, and in honor of the father, hope they produce a bounty to remember!  

May 28, 2018 07:11 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

Yes, great story. Very sentimental. Thank you, Debb. 

May 28, 2018 08:06 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Thank you, Debb. It brought some memories from my life. Our garden, our trees, how home back in Crimea. 

Thank you for a great post. 

May 28, 2018 08:12 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - This isn't just a blog post, it can be the beginning of another chapter in your life for a great book that you have the talent to write and I believe many would appreciate. And of course, you would dedicate your story to your daughter-in-law's father, Dr. Cook.  Your magical story is worth repeating and expanding on.I am so in awe of you, your life experiences, and your determination!  

May 28, 2018 10:36 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - What a great story.  It reminds me of going camping and eating a very simple meal, maybe a steak cooked over an open fire. I have found that these meals are always more tasty. Probably because of being in the outdoors.  I can see the same enjoyment in eating these beans because of the journey... Happy Memorial Day

May 28, 2018 02:21 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

What a fabulous story - sometimes the harder you have to work for something, the more you enjoy it! 

May 29, 2018 03:46 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

These must be magical beans. Your story is so heart-warming from different parts of the world of generous, caring people...

May 29, 2018 05:36 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Debb & Bernie, very interesting post I might add and I will be in Alaska the 2nd week of June!

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day 2018 and ...

I wrote a new post about reaching out to ActiveRain members that are following me at the AR network, your name showed up #130 on my list ;o)

May 29, 2018 08:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

We sampled and purchased some Gigandes Beans in Vinaigrette today. Delicious.

50840 - Gigandes Beans in Vinaigrette

Jun 01, 2018 11:57 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Debb and Bernie. This is such a inspiring post and you had my attention with the mention of Maui, where I escape and just got back from 12 days ago.

Jun 13, 2018 10:49 PM