Just won't find an earlier bean. Starts producing nearly a week ahead of most varieties. Will tolerate hot temperatures and mildew and is very productive. Like other snap beans, the Contender is stringless and excellent cooked or eaten right out of the garden. Ideal for canning or freezing with no loss of quality. Beans are ready to pick when the pod "snaps" or breaks in half cleanly. This is when the seds have just begun to form. Enjoy!