Growing Cassoulet Beans – What Grow and Where to Buy

I am planning my Christmas dinner.  I happen to have  a duck in the freezer and since this Christmas will be a small affair of my husband and my two little people, we are thinking of making one of our favorite dishes.  Cassoulet.   It brings with it cherished memories of Toulouse and drinking Armagnac and days when it was just my husband and me.  It’s warm stewiness seems perfect for an intimate Christmas in our snowed in house in the woods.

growing the perfect cassoulet bean image by Dana McMahan

G.Y. Dryansky wrote an excellent article titled “The Secret Life of Beans” for Conde Nast Traveller this month that explored this famed dish and it’s ingredients. The bean, being most important, has me interested.  I have tried to make cassoulet before, to less than perfect results.  I need to perfect my technique and ingredients.   With some research I have found the the Tarbais bean seed at one of my favorite gardening sites L’atelier Vert.

growing the perfect cassoulet bean -Tarbais beans by William NewtonThe Tarbais is widely regarded as ‘the’ best bean for cassoulet and carries with it the coveted “Label Rouge”.   Purcell Mountain Farms also sells them.  So I will be planting these beauties for further practice next fall. In the mean time, I think I have found some suitable substitutes for this Christmas – so long as I get over and order right now… at Rancho Gordo.  I think the Flageolet Bean or the Tepary Bean (white)  will do nicely.  Rancho Gordo has a great selection of beans…I may have to try out some other varieties.

Growing Cassoulet beans image by Buster&Bubby

Where to buy speciality bean seed for the garden:

images by Dana McMahan (CC), William Newton (CC), Buster&Bubby (CC)

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. Jan/ThanksFor2Day on December 23, 2008 at 9:52 am

    All I can say is: “Cool Beans!”

  2. Louise on February 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Also check out website or D’Artangnan (sp?) they carry everything you could dream about making for french country food- Tarbais, duck fat, preserved duck, traditional sausages, etc…YUM! Is there an international market in Boston that supplies bulk Tarbais beans?
    Did you catch the seminar on Edible Garden design at Tower Hill today (Feb 23)? The presenter is from Finland- sounded good- I missed it.:/
    Keep up the great work!

  3. rochelle on February 25, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Louise – I will go check our d’artangnan — sounds interesting.
    I don’t know of a place in Boston to buy beans…if I find I one I will post about it though.
    no – I didn’t do the seminar at tower hill. If you find some one who did go, let them know about studio ‘g’ – I would love to have a guest post about what they learned.

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