Hello fellow food lovers! It's time to dust off those grills and get ready for a flavor-packed adventure with the May edition of the Heirloom Bean and Grain Club. This month, we're igniting the flames with some truly legendary beans that are sure to elevate your BBQ game to new heights. First up, we've got the Pinquinto Bean, straight from the fields of Blue House Farms, where they're grown organically with love and care. Known as the traditional sidekick to a Santa Maria-style BBQ, these beans are about to become your new favorite grill companion. But wait, there's more! We're also shining the spotlight on Jacob's Cattle Beans, perfect for whipping up some mouthwatering east coast-style baked beans that'll have your guests coming back for seconds. And let's not forget about the Sable Black Rice, harvested from a family farm in Mississippi that's committed to sustainable agriculture. With its rich flavor and striking color, this rice is a must-have for any summer feast. So fire up those grills, grab your favorite apron, and let's get cooking!


Organic Pinquito Beans, Jacob's Cattle Beans and regeneratively grown Sable Black Rice


Organic Pinquito Beans, Jacob's Cattle Beans and Sea Island Red Peas

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



If California had a state bean, it would be the pinquito. These flavorful little pink beans come exclusively from California's Central Coast and are traditionally served with the barbecued tri-tip that made the Santa Maria region famous. They are considered the essential side dish ladled into large bowls full of bothy goodness. I can't tell you what a treat it is to have organic pinquitos! 

There are many legends about how these diminutive legumes arrived here in the golden state. Some say Spanish cowboys brought them here, others say migrant farm workers brought them into the state. Another, somewhat official version, says that in the 50s a local farmer got his hands on some from Mexico and convinced one of the town restaurants that they'd be a good addition to the menu. The beans are meaty in texture and they hold their shape even after hours of cooking but it's the flavor that keeps everyone coming back. Generations later they are still being prepared by that same Santa Maria restaurant and still being grown by that same family farm. 


You'll find dozens of recipes for Santa Maria Pinquitos online but at Jacko's they prepare them very simply with a bit of bacon, onion, garlic, salt an a little chili, simmered low and slow for 5 to 6 hours on the stove. Get the original recipe from Jacko's as printed in the Los Angeles Times HERE. Down the road a stretch in Solvang, California The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort makes their own version of Piquitos. It's more like a West Coast answer to New England baked beans, with mustard powder and brown sugar. You'll find it here reprinted by Food & Wine Magazine.  They are equally good without the pork for a vegan version of the dish and we love this recipe for vegan quinoa and pinquito tacos from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.


These beans are one of those heirlooms that is really something special all on their own. They have an amazing flavor and create such a delicious bean broth, aka pot liquor, that the best way to enjoy them in our humble opinion is the simplest.

Saute some chopped onion and a couple cloves of minced garlic in the bottom of a dutch onion or bean pot until just soft. Rinse the dry beans and put them in the pot with enough water to cover the beans by 3 inches. Add a tablespoon of salt and a bay or cinnamon tree leaf. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 3-4 hours, keeping an eye on them and adding water periodically so that you never have less than an inch of water above the beans. If you insist on soaking the beans the night before you won't need to cook as long or need as much water.  Serve them with some cotija cheese, sliced jalapenos, avocado and cilantro...or not. They are simply delicious right off the stove just as is. 


We are over the moon that our friends at Blue House Farm had a large enough harvest this year to share their bounty with us. Blue House grows drop dead gorgeous beans from the 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. 

heirloom bean and grain club


Jacob's Cattle,also known as the trout bean or Appaloosa bean, is known for its ability to hold its shape in addition to its beautiful white and reddish-brown speckles said to resemble the markings of a spotted calf. This delicious heirloom bean is an ingredient in the Slow Food Ark of Taste that has been around since colonial times, originating in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. The Passamaquoddy people of Maine are said to have presented some of these beans to Joseph Clark, the first Caucasian child born in Lubec, Maine. The flavor is described as fruity, rich, and nutty with a dense and meaty texture. It's great for soups and stews since it can hold its shape well under long cooking times, even with heavy seasoning.


 We love this bean in just about everything. It's so tasty just on it's own with a bit of salt you really don't have to do much to it at all. It's quite versatile and goes equally well in our recipe for the best ever vegan baked beans as it does in a hearty bowl of chili or our parmesan, rosemary soup. 


Small Town Specialties


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.





This Sable Long Grain Black Rice is grown on a small family farm in the Mississippi delta committed to sustainable, regenerative agriculture. Beyond its rustic charm lies a powerhouse of nutrition, boasting a rich array of antioxidants, protein, iron, and fiber—a testament to the farm's commitment to wholesome, regenerative practices. But what truly sets this rice apart is its captivating allure, with each kernel exuding a subtle nuttiness and earthy aroma, accompanied by a mesmerizing deep purple-black hue.

Yet, behind every grain lies a tale steeped in history. Black rice, a venerable member of the rice family, traces its origins to ancient China, where its bold flavor and striking appearance captured the hearts of nobility and royalty. Heralded as a culinary treasure, it was bestowed the enigmatic title of "forbidden rice," its consumption reserved solely for the privileged few.


As beautiful as it is delicious, this black rice will add pizzaz to all of your favorite rice dishes. From fried rice to salads and even rice pudding the possibilities are endless. Black rice has been a our go-to for fried rice because it has a firmer texture that stands up to the heat, we're thrilled to find this locally grown version! I can't wait to try colorful Thai inspired pineapple fried rice.  For dinner I might opt for some artic char with black rice and asian cabbage en papillote from Food & Wine. Or for warm summer nights I might opt for this Black Rice Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.  In Asia coconut rice pudding is often eaten as a breakfast treat. This recipe for Rice Pudding with Rosewater Dates by Maria Speck is a great way to start or end the day! 


two brooks farm sunsetTwo Brooks Rice is the product of years of reflection on our food production systems and how those impact our natural world. As a 10th generation farming family, Lawrence, Abbey and Sarah live and farm on the bayou in the most charming of Mississippi’s small towns-- Sumner. Theirs is a farm that lives in harmony with nature, giving back more than it takes. They practice no-till farming, they use no pesticides and they capture rain water and runoff to conserve our water resources.  “Years ago, after watching the overwintering waterfowl population explode, and the benefits they give to the land, after watching the eagles roost around, after watching the deer population go up, I started thinking about what I was doing. I started thinking about the soil microbiology and biology. How, by the fact that we had curtailed tillage and allowed waterfowl to do the tillage, we were beginning to rebuild the soil structure with naturally living organisms that enhance the rice plants health, and require far fewer synthetic inputs (to this day I use no insecticides or fungicides).” 

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