We lit upon these Yellow Eye beans at Tranten’s in Farmington, captivated by the price ($4.39 for 2 lbs) and the plain-spoken label and were curious to know more about the beans of Corinth, Maine.

Sherwood Megquier is 78 and is growing the same beans his father grew before him. He cultivates 15 acres of varieties ranging from Soldier and Jacob’s Cattle to Marfax and occasionally (although not this year) King of the Early. And he produces these “tons” of Penobscot County beans by himself, with a little help from his niece when she has the time (she runs Megquier’s Dry Beans Facebook page). Retired from a career as a technician with the Maine Air National Guard, Megquier keeps very busy with the bean business. The drying can be the most challenging part, three weeks or so of waiting for the moisture to leave the beans before they can be packaged.

You’ll find Megquier’s at a few select shops around the state, including Tranten’s in both Farmington and Kingfield, and he sells his beans to restaurants like Countryside in Corinth and the Coach House in Brewer. He’s seen some fresh interest from the younger generation. “For a while there it was only the parents,” he said. But now his “shop” in Corinth, where he does the drying and packaging, is being visited by younger bean novices. “There are more of them I think, starting to bake,” he said, including experimenting with the traditional bean hole method. “They’ll take two or three (types) for variety, to try them out.”

Yellow Eye is a classic for baked beans, and what Megquier considers a truly traditional Maine bean. His customers are a loyal group, including the snowbirds who stock up before heading to Florida. “They don’t have Yellow Eye there,” Megquier said. We asked when he hopes to retire. “Some days I think most any time,” he said. “It’s going to be before too long. I am getting older.”

Megquiers’ Dry Beans, 401 Hudson Road, Corinth, 207-285-3532