Soldier Beans

Soldier Beans

History of Soldier Beans

Soldier bean (phaseolus vulgaris) is an heirloom plant that has been cultivated in New England since before 1800. The name comes from a distinctive red mark on each 3/4-inch bean that resembles an old-fashioned toy soldier. These are also known as red-eye beans.

Soldier beans are a bush bean, with a firm texture and mild taste. They are dried before being cooked. Soldier bean plants are grown commercially only in New England and they tend to be produced in accordance with the demand for them.

Soldier Bean Cooking Suggestions

Soldier beans can be cooked in the same way you’d prepare most other dried beans. Rinse the beans, soak them overnight and then change the water before boiling them until they are soft. Once they are cooked, you can add onions, spices and meat, or bake them into casseroles with vegetables and cheese. They can also be used in any recipe that calls for white beans.

Other Soldier Bean Information

Soldier beans are in high demand these days and there are several factors contributing to this demand.  Green Thumb Farms is one of the largest suppliers of Soldier beans in the world last year Mother Nature did not do her part to create ideal growing conditions in this valley.  The lack of supply drives demand in an uncontrollable nature.  This year Mother Nature showed us that ideal growing conditions do exist and our only hurdle has been harvesting and cleaning our Soldier beans fast enough to get them packaged up and in the hands of demanding, Soldier bean deprived customers. 

Soldier Bean Status Update

The Soldier beans have been harvested and are being processed through our cleaning, sorting and packaging equipment.  Bean cleaning is a slow process that we are working to speed up with new equipment.  Keep checking our online store for updated information about when Soldier beans will be available for purchase.  We thank you for your patience!


  1. yes, please let me know…when soldier bean orders are available

  2. Hello Tom,
    This blog post is from last Fall. Our Soldier Beans are packaged and ready to ship at any time. Please visit us if you are local or our website if you need them shipped.

  3. What is the shelf life?

  4. Do you sell them in bulk? And if so or not quantity and cost?

  5. Hi Shannon,
    We sell them in 2lb. bags, 24lb. cases, 50lb. bags, and bulk bags that are typically around 2000lbs. each. The price would depend upon your quantity and whether you would be picking them up or having them delivered. I have passed your email along to our Bean Salesman, Tony so he can follow up with you. Thanks!

  6. Dry beans have about a 5 year shelf life minimum, but I have know people to have them much longer that claim they are still good. You may find that you have to soak them just a little longer as they get older, but otherwise they should cook the same.

  7. What do they taste like? Are they similar to Northern beans?

  8. Hi Cathi,
    Yes the soldier beans are similar to a northern bean or a navy bean. You can use either the soldier beans or yellow eye beans as a substitute if a recipe calls for northern beans or navy beans. The soldiers are slightly larger in size than the yellow eyes. Hope that helps!

  9. Thank you for doing this good work. I love supporting small farms and a vegetarian lifestyle. I currently live in Vermont, but was born in Norway, Maine!

  10. Thank you Lydia, we appreciate your support!!

  11. Is there another name for solder beans

  12. Hi I live in Zambia is there anywhere here I can buy your seed? Thanks

  13. Unfortunately, we do not ship to Zambia. Thank you for your inquiry!

  14. The only other name that I’m aware of is red-eye beans. Thank you for your inquiry!

  15. I am in need of a soldier bean recipe that does not use molasses and is not baked. Had a recipe a while back but it got lost can someone help me really soon. Need the recipe by Friday.

  16. Green Thumb Farms Presents:
    Stove Top No Molasses Beans
    AKA Canadian Brown Sugar Beans

    -1 pound dried Yellow Eye, Jacob’s Cattle, or Soldier beans, rinsed and sorted to
    eliminate debris, soaked overnight in a large bowl with beans covered by 3 inches
    of cool tap water. On the following morning drain (discard soak water) and rinse
    twice in cool water then set beans aside in the strainer.
    -5 Slices of bacon large dice
    -1 cup small diced yellow onion
    -1/2 cup small diced green bell pepper (optional)
    -1/4 cup ketchup
    -1/3 cup brown sugar
    -1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
    -Water- enough to cover the beans with 1 1/2 inches of water

    After cooking season with:
    -2 Tbsp cider vinegar
    -Salt and pepper to taste

    In a heavy pot large enough to hold all ingredients plus 1 ½” inches of water to cover
    the beans,
    A. cook bacon till medium crisp, remove bacon and set aside. Pour off all but one tsp.
    bacon fat.
    B. on medium heat add onion and green pepper saute until softened, about 5 min. Stir
    C. add beans, bacon, onions, green pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard
    and water, enough to cover the beans 1 ½ inches.
    D. mix well to mingle ingredients
    Bring all to a boil for 5 minutes then reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes- 1½ hours
    until desired texture is reached,
    Once fully cooked, Season with: Salt, pepper and Cider vinegar. These ingredients
    should not be added until after the Beans are fully cooked. The salt and vinegar
    will cause tough skin and hard beans! Enjoy!

  17. We’re looking for a case of your 2 lb. Dry Soldier Beans, but can’t find them anywhere.
    Do you folks sell them or just grow them.

  18. I’m so sorry you can’t find Soldier Beans anywhere. We do usually sell them but are completely out of inventory at this time! We should have new inventory in late October.

  19. Where can I buy soldier beans in Alberta


  21. Please let me know how I can order dry Soldier Beans when they become available. I wish to surprise my Father who will be 91 in September. He’s loved these beans for many many years still speaks of them today. Dad began coming to Maine as a young boy, his Mother was from Maine. I was 18 months old for my first visit over 63+ years ago. Currently spending summer in Bath, ME in his summer home.
    Thank you in advance, we would like to make them from scratch again.

  22. Hello Lynn,
    When the Soldier beans have been harvested and packaged we will resume our online sales. We are hoping to have them ready in late October/early November. Happy Birthday to your Father.

  23. Thank you Christine, Harman’s clearly has a secret stock of them! We do sell our beans to them so you are getting the Green Thumb Farms beans.

  24. We currently do not distribute our beans to Canada.

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