On Vacation Through January 6

Hello Spring! We're watching the garden begin to wake up, planting our seedlings and tomatoes and getting excited about all of the delicious bounty headed our way in the farmers market so we've chosen a selection of beans and grains to compliment fresh spring flavors. 

We're also including a packet of herb seeds in your box this month that you can plant in a pot on the windowsill or the garden. Did you know you can also plant the beans we send you? Try planting a few and enjoy them fresh and green right out of the garden this summer, it's such a treat! 

Changes To The Club:  To make things a little more streamlined we are going to ship all boxes on the same day of the month going forward. Normally that date will be between the 12 and the 14th each month.  Due to Spring Break , all April boxes will ship out on April 18th rather than the 14th, sorry for the delay but there are just 2 of us and we'll be enjoying some time off with our kids that week. 

FAMILY SIZE CONTAINS:

Organic King City Pink Beans, Organic Black Turtle Beans, Sea Island Red Peas, Cranberry Beans, Enika & French Lentils*

heirloom bean and grain club

REGULAR SIZE CONTAINS:

Organic King City Pink Beans, Organic Black Turtle Beans, Enika & French Lentils*

BEAN ONLY CONTAINS:

Organic King City Pink Beans, Organic Black Turtle Beans, Cranberry Beans

*Gluten Free Substitute - Organic Quinoa

KING CITY PINK BEANS

The King City Pink has a rich history and a big flavor. They have a delicious taste that will knock you over it's so good. King City Pinks are dense and meaty with a delicate, thin skin and a luscious broth. The are about the size of a navy bean, larger than the other pink bean famous in California, the pinquito. 

In the 1800s Charles King purchased inexpensive land on the central coast region of California not far from Monterey. When he was successful growing wheat, King City was born and quickly became an agricultural hub also growing the pink beans that bear its name. By the 1930s when John Steinbeck wrote Tortilla Flats, King City was shipping pink beans across the nation. Steinbeck has deep connections to King City and mentions the pink beans in Tortilla Flats and uses the town as a setting for several scenes in Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck's father claimed to have been the first permanent resident of King City and he met and married his wife there. 

curried king city pink beans

WHAT TO DO WITH THEM

These delicious pink beans are so flavorful you hardly have to do anything to them, but their dense meaty texture makes them an excellent choice for many vegan meals. They reminded us of a more flavorful chickpea so we came up with this mouth watering King City Pink Curry. We served it over rice but it would be equally good served over the Enika and Lentil mixture for an even bigger boost of protein and heirloom goodness. Get the recipe HERE>>

Fifth Crow Farm Teddy Miller 2019ABOUT THE FARMER

Fifth Crow Farms is an organic family owned farm in Pescadero, California. Grounded in a values-based approach to land stewardship, Fifth Crow Farm is a dynamic and diversified organic farm in Pescadero, CA. Founded in 2008 with a shoestring budget, a supportive local community, and ambitious dreams, they strive to bring eaters the highest quality, best tasting, and most nutritious food possible. 

Fifth Crow Farm wants their farm to be more than a business: they strive to make it an engine for positive change in the food system. They are stewarding the land in a way that not only respects but improves habitat for wildlife and builds better soil for future farmers. They also believe in creating a healthy, fulfilling, and fair work environment, and providing their customers with the best tasting, most nutritious, highest quality food possible.

ORGANIC BLACK TURTLE BEANS

These organically grown midnight black beans are a beautiful true turtle bean with traditional flavor and texture perfect for everything from dips to soup. You'll find this heirloom variety called everything from Midnight Black to Black Valentine or simply "black beans". 

They have a delicate skin and a dense, meaty texture, giving off a inky black broth that made them a favorite for centuries of cooking in the Southwest. The broth alone is so prized it is often served as a soup by itself.

Black beans date back over 7,000 years when they were a staple in the diets of Central and South Americans.The turtle bean was first widely grown in the present-day United States after the Mexican–American War (1846–1848). However, it was primarily grown as a snap pea (for the edible seed pod).

 

black bean soup recipe

Photo By Caleb Adams

WHAT TO DO WITH THEM

The little black dress of beans, you can use these in everything from this vegan Not So Basic Black Bean Soup Recipe to a killer Black Bean Burger which is not vegan. I usually cook up a pot of them on Sunday and then keep them in Small Town Specialties the fridge all week to throw in salads, soups and even a stir fry. They make amazing black bean cakes and they are amazing in our Urfa Chili Black Bean Brownies

ABOUT THE FARMER

Small Town Specialties is a family owned and operated business. Allen and Kendral are passionate about bringing you Non GMO, and Gluten-free products directly from their farm.  What started with just a handful of beans, years later has turned into a flourishing crop.

 

SEA ISLAND RED PEAS

Steeped in history, these heirloom field peas are a more flavorful and diminutive cousin to black eyed peas and are grown only on the Carolina Sea Islands. Introduced from Africa by enslaved people, they became a staple of the Gullah Geechee kitchen, typically paired with Carolina Gold Rice. During the depression, cultivation came to a stop and the Sea Island Red Pea nearly went extinct. Thankfully due to a few small farms they are making a comeback. Sea Island Red Peas are the original ingredient for Hoppin' John, a Low Country New Years tradition served with collard greens and said to bring good luck all year. They are meaty and slightly sweet, but unlike the store bought black eyed peas you may have tried in the past they are packed with deep, rich flavor that can be described as "meaty." No matter what time of year, Sea Island Red Peas will enliven a pot of beans, salad, soups and stews.

WHAT TO DO WITH THEM

These flavorful little field peas are so delicious you'll find a million uses for them. We love them in this mouth watering Sea Island Red Pea Soup with Gruyere-Black Pepper Corn Cakes and on warm spring days we'll be making this Sea Island Red Pea Salad. 

Sea Island Red Peas are the original ingredient used in Hoppin' John and after exploring many recipes for this dish, the Gullah recipe by chef BJ Dennis is our favorite. Click here to view the video. 

SEA ISLAND RED PEAS WITH CELERY LEAVES

This very simple dish lets the flavor of these amazing heirloom field peas shine. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sea Island red peas
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery (reserve celery leaves)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 cups chicken (or veg) stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve with Carolina Gold Rice and a good southern hot sauce like Red Clay Original Hot Sauce.

DIRECTIONS:

In a thick bottom pot sauté the onion, celery and carrot until tender. Add stock, thyme and bay leaves. Rinse the red peas well and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes until tender.  Remove the thyme stem and bay leaves, top with chopped celery leaves and serve with Carolina Gold Rice and hot sauce.

ABOUT MARSH HEN MILL

Greg Johnsman is passionate about preserving traditional Southern foodways on the South Carolina Sea Islands. He and his wife Betsy farm and mill heirloom ingredients at Marsh Hen Mill on Edisto Island, where Betsy's family has farmed for generations. In addition to Sea Island Red Peas, Greg grows Carolina Gold Rice and Jimmy Red Corn on their Sea Island farm and mills the finest cornmeal and grits around on his ancient milling equipment from the 1940s. 

 

CRANBERRY BEANS

Rancho Gordo beans by Steve Sando are kinda a big deal. It started as a hobby of growing heirloom beans and figuring out different ways to cook them and quickly led to farmer’s markets. When the people started loving all the varieties he grew as much as Steve did, he knew he was onto something good. 

These Cranberry Heirloom Beans are no different. This versatile and velvety, thin-skinned bean produces a rich, indulgent bean broth. While Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean which has been bred around the world to become Madeira, Borlotti, Tounges of Fire, Wren’s Egg and more. With so many names, it's clear it can be used in almost any dish that beans are needed for. 

We tried it in a traditional pasta e fagioli, and it was really superb.  The way the bean sauce, coated each noodle so evenly with it's rich bean broth, it was love at first taste.  Sluuuurppp.       

The folks at Rancho Gordo, aka Bean Mecca like to simply enjoy a bowl of Cranberry beans with poached chicken pieces, drizzled with a fruity local olive oil.  Sounds delish to us! 

 


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