EARLY JUNE SWEET PEAS & HENDERSON BABY BUSH LIMA BEANS
Peas and baby limas are a main crop grown in eastern Sussex county, around Milton,
Lewes, Milford and Ellendale. The product is contracted to local canneries.
Many farmers double crop peas and limas, planting the beans after harvesting the early peas
which is finished before the 4th of July. It has been found that later planted Henderson Bush Baby
Lima's produce a better yield that those planted early.
Milton is in the heart of the Delaware lima bean production, one cannery cans 3600 cases
a day from the thirty to fourty tons brought to them from the fields. Lima bean season begins the
middle of August. The vines of the crops are either 'threshed' or shelled when brought to the 'viners' at
the canning factory, or at the farm which have viners of their own. The beans or peas after being
shelled are cleaned by fans forcing air over them, sorted by hand as they pass on belts, graded for
color amd size, washed, then canned and seaaled and cooked in steam retorts.
Most canneries start the season just about Decoration Day, through early June with peas, in
July they are caning string beans and August is tomatos with limas in September up until a good heavy
frost or early freeze.
Source: Wilmington New Journal , Saturday, October 10, 1925