Embrace the festive spirit with open arms as we introduce the December Heirloom Bean and Grain Club, featuring a captivating trio that embodies the warmth of the season. Leading the way is the exceptional Rio Zappe Bean, a rare delight revered by chefs and dubbed "the noblest bean" by The Washington Post. Sourced exclusively from the esteemed Fifth Crow Farms, this 100% organic heirloom bean is a Slow Food Ark of Taste honoree, with whispers of its origins in the ruins of the Anasazi cliff-dwelling people in the American Southwest. Joining this prestigious bean are the festive Christmas Lima Beans, adding a burst of color and holiday cheer to your plate. Making its grand debut in the club is the illustrious Charleston Gold Rice, offering a velvety texture and subtle nutty flavor that promises to elevate your culinary creations. This month's lineup is a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, inviting you to explore the stories and flavors woven into each heirloom treasure. Let the winter culinary adventure unfold!


Christmas Lima Beans, Organic Rio Zappe Beans, Charleston Gold Rice


Christmas Lima Beans, Organic Rio Zappe Beans, Organic Blue Morro Beans

How to cook perfect beans


Check out our blogposts with everything you need to know to get the most out of your membership in the heirloom bean and grain club. 

Welcome To Beantopia

How To Cook A Perfect Pot of Beans

The Definitive Guide To Cooking Beans

Bean Recipes


The Christmas Lima is not the lima bean of your childhood nightmares. These delicious hearty beans have a distinctive nutty taste and a starchy texture similar to a baked potato. They are so hearty they work very well as a vegetarian main course but are equally good as a side or in salads. These Ark of Taste ingredients are grown on a small, family farm in Northern California just a stones through from where those famous napa grapes are grown. 

The Christmas Lima Bean dates back to the 1840s, when it was especially popular in the southwestern region of the US. The bean, which is often called the Chestnut Lima because of it similarity in taste to the nut, is a large—quarter sized—white, flat seed with maroon spots and swirls. These intricate burgundy designs remain on the bean once it is cooked. 

They are so large we recommend soaking them for 24 hours or using a slow cooker on low till they are tender. If you're using a pressure cooker soak for at least 12 hours and then you'll need to cook for 45 minutes to ensure they are fully cooked and don't forget the salted water! These will need more water than most beans because they are HUGE.

christmas lima bean bourgainon


Dive into the savory delight of our Christmas Lima Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon, a delectable twist on the classic French dish that transcends dietary preferences. Perfect for cozy winter evenings or upscale holiday gatherings, this dish boasts layers of umami and a rich red wine reduction that rival even the heartiest meat-based counterparts.


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.



Beloved by chefs and revered as "the noblest bean" by The Washington Post, this 100% organic heirloom bean club exclusive comes to us from family owned Fifth Crow Farms. It will blow your mind as a refried bean (as featured in Food & Wine Magazine), and it makes an amazing mole taco!  

The Rio Zape is a very special bean, so special it's in the Slow Food Ark of Taste! Rumor has it that the bean was unearthed in the ruins of the Anasazi cliff–dwelling people in the American southwest.  It is similar to the popular pinto bean but way more tasty, and is purple with dark burgundy slashes.

rio zape taco recipe


The Rio Zape gives off a delicious dark gravy and has a creamy texture and a complex flavor with a hint of chocolate. They are a natural fit for any mole dish. Whether you make your own as in our recipe for Rio Zape Mole Tacos or use a pre-made mole sauce like this Oaxacan Mole Sauce from Bunches and Bunches it's a match made in heaven. It makes an excellent refried bean that is so simple to make it can hardly be called a recipe. 


fifth crow farm


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.


charleston Gold Rice


Introducing Andy's Rice Charleston Gold Rice, a truly exceptional heirloom rice that stands as the direct descendent of the revered Carolina Gold Rice. From the moment you unseal the bag, a distinctive and enchanting aroma envelops your senses, setting the stage for a culinary experience like no other. What makes Charleston Gold Rice truly unique is not only the extraordinary seed itself, a product of natural cross-pollination between Carolina Gold Rice and aromatic varieties, but also the meticulous care and attention to detail provided by the dedicated farmers at Andy's Rice. Nestled on their own farm, the rice is cultivated in peaty fields that boast a wealth of minerals and nutrients, imparting a flavor profile unparalleled in the world of rice. In a departure from the practices of many modern rice producers, Andy's Rice takes pride in growing their own rice, avoiding the common approach of harvesting from multiple growers. This commitment ensures a level of quality and consistency that is second to none. The fields, strategically located near the ocean, benefit from the ebb and flow of the tides, providing a natural and unique flooding process. Simultaneously, the farm is far enough inland to receive freshwater river irrigation, striking a perfect balance that not only results in delicious rice but also reflects a more sustainable and harmonious farming approach. As part of their land stewardship program, Andy's Rice employs traditional rotational crop methods, further demonstrating their dedication to preserving the environment and maintaining the integrity of the land. The result is not just a bag of rice but a testament to the rich heritage and unwavering commitment to quality that defines Charleston Gold Rice from Andy's Rice. Elevate your culinary creations with this beloved heirloom rice, and savor the unique flavors that only a time-honored legacy can provide. 


As with all grains we recommend that you keep rice in the refrigerator or freezer. 


Like all rice, the difference between fluffy perfect rice and rice that sticky rice is rinsing until the water runs clear. Do not skip this step. 

  1. Place rice in a medium bowl. Rinse 1 cup rice under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 2-3 minutes, agitating the grains with your fingers. Drain.

  2. In a small pot with a tight fitting lid, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Immediately add drained rice and 1 teaspoon salt and stir once to combine. Return to a simmer, without stirring. Stir one more time, then cover with lid; reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Do not open lid or stir while it cooks.

  3. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and fluff gently with a fork. Stir in butter, if using, and serve.

Hoppin John Recipe


Rich in flavor and history, Hoppin' John is a delicious Lowcountry Gullah Geechie New Years tradition. The dish has its roots in West Africa and has been a Southern ritual bringing luck for the new year since antebellum days. 

Chef BJ Dennis is a Gullah Geechie ambassador to South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine and nobody could tell you about this dish better than he can. Watch Now We've added a bit of extra instruction for clarification to his original recipe. Get the recipe. 

Andy's Charleston Gold Rice


White House Farms is nestled in the heart of Georgetown County's historic rice-belt region in South Carolina. The stewardship of this land, dating back to the 18th century, captured the imagination of the current caretakers who took over in 2011. Drawn to the rich history of the peaty, muddy tidal fields, the family is on a mission to revive the rice-growing tradition that endured wars, hurricanes, and even the Great Depression. Led by the dedication of the family—comprising Hayden, the wife, and Paul, the son—they proudly resurrected rice production at White House Farms, now standing as one of the largest single estate growers of the esteemed Charleston Gold Rice. This superior variety, derived from the heirloom Carolina Gold, pays homage to Georgetown County's legacy as one of the world's foremost rice-growing regions, making every grain a testament to the enduring spirit of the land.

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