• December 28, 2023 5 min read

    Welcome to the January Heirloom Bean and Grain Club, where the essence of tradition and the legacy of a remarkable farmer come together in a trio of exceptional offerings. This month, we're delighted to present the Organic Alubia beans, the timeless Whole Einkorn Wheat Berries — one of the oldest wheat varieties on the planet — and a rare heirloom bean variety known as Tom Phipps Beach Pebbles. A treasure from Fifth Crow Farms, this unique local bean is a tribute to the legacy of Tom Phipps, a pioneering farmer who, since 1969, cultivated over 60 varieties of beans organically in Pescadero, California. Renowned for his exceptional beans, Phipps' produce graced the shelves of the famed Phipps Country Store, drawing people from far and wide. His Pebble Beans, named for their resemblance to beach pebbles, became a local favorite, supplying esteemed restaurants like Chez Panisse. Even after Tom's passing, the community at Fifth Crow Farms is dedicated to preserving the memory of this agricultural luminary and his beloved Pebble Beans. We are privileged to share with you not only a unique local bean but a piece of culinary history that spans generations. Join us in savoring the flavors and stories woven into this month's heirloom treasures, as we celebrate the enduring legacy of Tom Phipps and the vibrant spirit of local agriculture. 


    Organic Tom Phipps Pebble Beans, Organic Alubia Beans, Organic Whole Einkorn Wheat Berries. 


    Organic Tom Phipps Pebble Beans, Organic Alubia Beans, Organic Ojo De Cabra 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


    Fifth Crow Farms is keeping this unique local variety, and the legacy of Tom Phipps alive. Tom started farming in 1969, growing

    Mr. phipps pebble beans

    artichokes in the cool foggy climate of California’s central coast. It was a desire to farm without pesticides that converted Tom into a bean-thusiast. He grew over 60 varieties of beans organically in Pescadero, California. People traveled far and wide to purchase his beans from the famed Phipps Country Store. He was so well known for his heirloom beans that the New York Times wrote an article about he and his wife, Valerie in 1997. The Phipps supplied restaurants like Chez Panisse with their amazing beans. One of his most popular was a variety that he cultivated himself. He called them Pebble Beans because they resembled beach pebbles. After Tom passed away his neighbors at Fifth Crow Farms wanted to keep the memory of Tom and and his beloved Pebble Beans to live on. We are very fortunate to be able to offer you a chance to try a truly local bean.


    While it looks like all the beans are different varieties, when sown, the plants all look the same and mature at the same time and have the same cooking time. Pebble Beans are beautiful little beans that are dainty in size but pack a delicious punch of flavor. They have thin skins and cook up quickly with a smooth, creamy texture. They were our top choice for our elevated Bean and Walnut Paté and the flavor did not disappoint. They’ll also be excellent in soup. 


    1. Sort and wash 2-3 cups of cranberry beans and soak overnight.
    2. The next day drain off the soaking water.
    3. In a large pot, heat 2 TBS oil, then add 1 medium chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 2 cloves of peeled, crushed garlic, 2 TBS chopped parsley. Sauté over low heat until the vegetables are wilted.
    4. To the pot add, 3 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes, 2 small sliced zucchini, 2 cans of chicken stock or beef broth, 2 cups water, 1/8 tsp. dried rosemary, 1/8 tsp. dried sage, and 1/8 tsp. dried basil.
    5. Add beans to the pot, stir well and bring to boil, then turn down heat to a simmer. Cook slowly for 2 hours or until beans are tender.
    6. Add 2 cups of cabbage, chopped small turnips or other vegetables of your choice.
    7. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a salad and warm bread.



    Fifth Crow Farms


    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.


    These spanish-style white beans are also known as white kidney beans. These tiny, smooth beans have a beautiful firm texture which allows them to easily absorb flavors. When cooked, the beans hold their shape perfectly even after long periods of time. 


    Alubia beans are amazing in Spanish recipes. Because they hold their shape they are excellent in soups, stews and salads. We love them in our Frijoles Guitado and they are excellent with chorizo and clams in a Spanish style stew. 


    Einkorn, a German word meaning ‘single grain’, is one of the oldest cereal grains to be cultivated by man for human consumption and is believed to have been domesticated around 7500 BC. Once the primary grain of in the UK it fell out of favor in the Bronze Age and almost disappeared until being rediscovered by small farms and artisanal bakers just a decade ago. The grain has delicious and complex flavours, as well as presenting various nutritional benefits to the consumer such as higher levels of protein and antioxidants than regular wheat. This ancient wheat berry offers delicious possibilities for pilafs, risottos, soups, and salads. You can use it to substitute for rice or barley in all of your favorite recipes. 

    warm eiknorn wheat berry chard, butternut squash salad


    This hearty warm salad is a delicious side or vegan main dish perfect for a festive holiday meal. Tart cranberries are balanced by the sweetness of butternut squash and apple cider making it a fall favorite. 


    Bluebird Grain Farm

    Bluebird Grain Farms’ mission is to cultivate and mill the most irresistible, nutrient-rich ancient grains they can while leaving this land healthier for the next generation. In 2004 Sam and Brook started Bluebird Grain Farms as a husband and wife team because they could not find locally grown organic grains in the Pacific Northwest. Bluebird’s founding principles in soil health, nutrition, and agroecology are being expanded as they partner with like-minded “tried and true” organic grain farmers who share their founding principals of growing food for soil health and optimal nutrition. 

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