Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Mostoller Wild Goose Bean

As a genealogist and an organic gardener, I love this story. It seems that the most valuable heirloom passed down in the Mostoller family of Pennsylvania came from the gullet of a goose.

It was pure serendipity that prompted a wild goose to land in the heart of Somerset County in the fall of 1865 — serendipitous for those of us who love the taste of heritage, that is.

It was very bad luck for the goose, which plopped into a mill race at Joseph Mostoller’s sawmill south of Stoystown. David and John Mostoller, Joseph’s sons, spotted the goose and one of them shot it. When the boys’ mother, Sarah, butchered the bird, she discovered fresh beans in the craw. [Link]
Sarah planted the beans the next spring; they germinated and have produced crops ever since. A descendant (of Sarah) had a descendant (of the beans) tested several years ago, and it turned out to be an unrecorded variant, worthy of its own name: the Mostoller Wild Goose Bean.

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