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The former "Green Bean Capital of the World"

Johnson County, located in East Tennessee, was established in 1836. Historically, the county’s economy was dependent on agriculture, but most are surprised to learn it was once known as the “Green Bean Capital of the World.” 

Courtesy of History of Johnson County

By the mid-nineteenth century, green beans were known as the king crop of the area. There were nearly 3,400 acres of planted green beans in Johnson County alone, which were grown, purchased, and shipped to various places. 

The act of picking beans was a hot, labor-intensive process and it became difficult to find individuals willing to work for low wages.

Furthermore, the terrain of the area didn’t allow for the use of machine picking. These factors ultimately led to the end of the bean business in Johnson County. 


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