• January 08, 2023 6 min read

    January brings creamy soups, hearty pot pies and healthy quinoa scrambles. This month we'll be enjoying some edible history with The Mayflower Bean and the Carolina  Conch Pea, both in the Slow Food Arc Of Taste, along with some regeneratively farmed quinoa. Wishing you cozy evenings sipping cream pea soup or digging into a heaping bowl of beans as the wind and snow (or rain) comes down. Nothing dispels all that ails you like beans. Be well.

    january 2023 heirloom bean and grain club


    Carolina Conch Peas, Organic Mayflower Beans, Regeneratively Grown White Quinoa, Mayacoba Beans, Organic Black Oaxacan Beans


    Carolina Conch Peas, Organic Mayflower Beans, Regeneratively Grown White Quinoa


    Carolina Conch Peas, Organic Mayflower Beans, Mayacoba Beans


    It is said that the Mayflower arrived in the US in the 1620s, bringing with it the Mayflower bean. More accurately though, the Mayflower bean was returned to its ancestral lands by the pilgrims. Like all Phaseolus vulgaris, the Mayflower would have originated in the new world, descended from beans cultivated thousands of years ago in Peru. After colonists re-introduced the Mayflower to the Americas, the bean was widely circulated among the colonists of the Carolina region of the country. The Mayflower plant has short pods that hold the small, square shaped beans. The beans are a beautiful creamy color with dark-red speckles. 

    blue house farm


    Blue House Farm grows drop dead gorgeous beans from the gorgeous, fertile land in Pescadero and San Gregorio, California. Ryan Casey became interested in farming in college while taking agriculture courses. After completing an apprenticeship at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and working on several farms, he decided to start an organic farm. The farm started in 2005 on 2 acres and has steadily grown to over 75 acres in production. Farming in two different microclimates allows Blue House Farm to grow over 50 types of certified organic farm products. Among the lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and peppers Blue House Farm grows excellent organic beans. 


    vegan heirloom bean pot pie recipe


    These creamy, somewhat earthy beans have a silky texture and a delicious bean broth. We made an incredibly umami filled vegan pot pie with them. By roasting eggplant, garlic and onion before adding to the bean broth, we're layering in complexity and rich umami flavors rivaling any bone broth you can find. 

    heirloom bean and grain club



    The Conch Pea is one of more than 50 varieties of cowpea, or field pea identified in the Southern US. The first cowpeas were brought to this country in the 1600s by enslaved people from West Africa and quickly became a staple of the South. The Conch Pea first appeared in the late 19th century in the St. John’s River region of north Florida, likely having arrived from the West Indies. This cream pea is similar to varieties such as "lady peas", a white pea with a pale eye. Cooked, conch peas are noted for their creamy texture and delicate flavor, making them popular among Southern cooks. They are ideal for soups and stews, adding just the right amount of flavor without overpowering other ingredients.


    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. 


    conch pea and butternut squash soup recipe

    The creamy texture and delicate flavor are perfect for soups, stews and salads. On a particularly blustery day we'll be enjoying this soul warming Conch Pea and Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Sage Leaves.  You can easily substitute these for Lady Peas in a variety of recipes like this one from Edible Nashville for a Lady Pea Salad with Pesto

    *Slow Food Ark of Taste


     This is a little out of the norm for us, but when we met the folks at SIMPLi we were blown away by their incredible mission. We knew that we needed to support them in any way we can and we think you'll agree that this quinoa is among the best we've ever had. We are delighted to present to you this certified regeneratively farmed white quinoa in a hand woven bag from Peru. We're using our bag to store cookie cutters that always seem to be rattling around in the drawer. We can't wait to hear what you're doing with it.

    Simpli QuinoaAbout SIMPLi

    SIMPLi is a modern ingredients company ethically sourcing the highest quality single-origin ingredients while tackling fraudulent international supply chains, combating climate change and improving the livelihoods of farmers and their communities. Launched in 2020, SIMPLi co-founders Matt Cohen and Sarela Herrada, a Peruvian native, sought out to bring the best single-origin ingredients from around the world to consumers kitchens in a way that equally benefits farmers, the environment, and consumers. Unlike traditional ingredients companies, SIMPLi owns its supply chain, working directly with growers in countries like Peru and Greece to ensure each product meets the strictest quality standards. SIMPLi transitions profits traditionally benefited by middlemen within the supply chain back to the farmers it works with. SIMPLi is a Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC™) and Fair For Life Certified company. SIMPLi is the first ingredients brand to achieve ROC™ in South America for its quinoa and beans. These certifications guarantee that SIMPLi’s farming partners receive fair compensation and their communities are uplifted economically. 



    These delightful yellow beans are beloved in Coastal Mexico for refried beans. We love their smooth, buttery texture and rich golden broth, making a brothy bowl of these beans a meal in and of itself. They have a mildly sweet flavor and are one of our top picks for recipes calling for white beans, where their creaminess can shine. We're so excited to have these beans grown by a 4th generation woman farmer! 

    bean and cheese burrito

    The BEST Bean Burrito EVER starts with fresh, delicious Mayacoba beans. Use our recipe to create vegan refried beans without lard. Warning: the results are delicious and will ruin you for all other refried beans. 


    Primary Beans Founders


    Primary Beans is a brand-new, sister-founded purveyor of single-origin dried beans from recent harvests on a mission to place the almighty bean at the forefront of meals that are good for people and the planet.

    Linsey and Renee are fifth-generation Arizonans from a small town on the Mexican border. Like any border town kids, they grew up around the culture and flavors of Northern Mexico. Early on, they developed a deep appreciation for beans and were the kids asking for “no rice, only beans please” at the local restaurant.

    Turning their passion into a mission, the sisters created Primary Beans to deepen our connection to the food we eat and the land it comes from. They ethically source fresh, delicious beans from their network of family farms to deliver them to your table.



    Oaxacan Black Beans MoleBlack beans are practically a religion in Oaxaca. They are served at almost every single meal and the people of that region are very serious about them. These Heirloom Oaxacan Black Beans are possibly the most flavorful black bean we've ever tasted.  They are traditionally used to make Enfrijolidas, which uses up the left over beans from last night, Tamales de Frijol, and of course plenty of refried beans. We love this recipe by Patti Jinich for Oaxacan Style Refried Beans. On these chili January days though we might opt for Norma's Back Bean Soup.  Another thing Oaxaca is know for is mole so I love a simply fast dinner of these Oaxacan Black Beans Tossed in some delicious gourmet mole sauce and served with warm tortillas, cillantro and a bit of Cotija cheese.


    Larry Kandarian

    When it comes to ancient grains and farming, Larry Kandarian is legendary. Meeting Larry at the Santa Monica farmers market feels like meeting an agricultural prophet. He can talk to you all day about varieties of beans and grains you've never heard of and how going beyond just organic to fully sustainable and regenerative farming creates better tasting food. His deeply weathered hands from over 50 years working in the fields, let you know that he's the real deal. Unlike others, Larry doesn't just own a farm, he is a true farmer. He is passionate about growing better tasting food that is also better for us and the planet. His incredibly diverse array of grains, legumes, herbs and spices grown in Los Osos, California are all carefully chosen heirloom varieties that work together to create a self-sustaining eco-system that requires no fertilizer, pesticides or weed killers. All of this leads to better soil health, and when you grow food in better soil it just tastes better. You can listen to Larry on a podcast by Consumed here. 


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