Our Heritage Varieties

We have six local varieties. They thrive in their home soil.


There are four reasons to grow our local heritage varieties!


They are our story

Local heritage and heirloom vegetables are a part of the story of our food. Celebrating them reinforces our identity with our land.


They are delicious

They’re bred for flavour and well adapted to local growing conditions so easy to cultivate.


They help build food security

Conserving our local varieties ensures the continued diversity of edible crops and promotes greater food security.


They need protecting

They are rare and endangered. Growing and eating them, and saving their seed ensures their continued survival.

1. Graham’s Tom Thumb Tomato

The Graham’s Tom Thumb Tomato is a delicious thin-skinned cherry tomato. It was given to Adam Alexander (a Director of Our Food 1200) by a grower in Cardiff who had been growing it since the 1970s. His neighbour had been growing this variety for at least 40 years previously, so this is a genuine Welsh heirloom, probably originating in Italy.

Buy from Wales Seed Hub.

Graham's Tom Thumb Tomato
Stenner Runner Bean

2. Stenner Runner Bean

The Stenner Runner Bean is famous among competition growers across the UK. Bred by Brython Stenner from Cefn Cribwr in South Wales, this delicious bean was the undisputed champion for many years in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s still grown for competition and the table. The Stenner Runner Bean is occasionally available from commercial growers.

Buy from Wales Seed Hub.


3. District Nurse French Bean

As the name suggests, the District Nurse French Bean was first grown by a district nurse. It was given to the Heritage Seed Library by a woman in Cardiff. It has fine, purple-speckled pods of excellent quality, both eaten fresh and as a shelled bean. This is a unique heirloom French bean of Welsh heritage. There is limited commercial availability of the District Nurse French Bean but it is now being grown for customers in Abergavenny and Crickhowell.

Buy from Wales Seed Hub.

District Nurse French Bean
Rhondda Black Runner Bean

4. Rhondda Black Runner Bean

The Rhondda Black Runner Bean was bred by enthusiast Alan Picton from the Rhondda. It’s a very fine champion bean of great length and excellent flavour, and when Alan was no longer able to keep growing them himself, he passed the seeds on to Adam Alexander.

To obtain, contact Real Seeds.

5. Brecon Black Runner Bean

This table bean was saved from extinction by the Irish Seed Savers and brought back into cultivation in Monmouthshire by Adam Alexander. A black-seeded variety, it was once widely grown locally and is now being made available again commercially. It’s a very fine culinary bean, but not one to win the longest bean competition!

To obtain, contact us.

Brecon Black Runner Bean
Llanover Pea

6. Llanover Pea

This 1.8m tall pea was brought back to the Llanover Estate by a former German PoW after The Second World War. He sought the hand of a servant in the main house who he had fallen in love with whilst he was a prisoner. The Llanover Pea was almost lost after being donated to the Heritage Seed Library over 20 years ago, but it has since been bulked up by Adam Alexander. This fine heirloom is now once again growing in the walled garden on the Llanover Estate, and is enjoyed by many local customers.

Buy from Wales Seed Hub.

If you want to know more about our heritage varieties, please get in touch.

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