Fresh beans from an organic farm bear very little resemblance to the overcooked, canned mush you get in the canned goods isle. Or, even, to the week or more old “fresh” beans you’ll find in the grocery store.
Indy Gold Yellow Wax Beans
Golden yellow beans get large without getting tough and stringy. The provide a nice tender texture, and full bean flavor without so much “green taste.” Great steamed or stir fried, though we must confess that most of the ones we eat ourselves are eaten raw…
Jade Green Beans
Our main crop green bean. Long, slender, tasty, dark green beans are tender, and have the traditional home-grown bean flavor everyone looks for. Usually nearly stringless, or with strings small enough you don’t need to bother removing them. Being removed from the wholesale market after 2013, so we’ll have to rely on our ability to save seed to maintain this variety.
Massai Haricots Verts
Haricots Vertsis French for “Green Bean.” They are smaller, more tender, more flavorful beans picked at a younger level of maturity. Massai is an outstanding exammple of the type, with the bennefit of growing on a small bush. Since you get less bean for your pick (and space), it helps to be able to squeeze more bushes into the same amount of space. Extremely labor-intensive to harvest (we can often pick 10 gallons of Jade in the time it takes to pick 1 pint of haricots verts). Incredibly delicious, however, so those who try them come back again and again, despite the necessary higher price.
Red Noodle Yard Long Beans
The polar opposite of Haricots Verts. Long, stringless, thin, burgundy beans, up to 2 feet long (more commonly about 18″). Strong flavor, difficult to describe. Much like a bean mixed with mild radish sprinkled with black pepper. Great raw as a snack, but best in stir fries. Goes great with garlic, chilies, and scallions!
We grow a number of varieties of dry beans, but usually only one variety a year. We have to grow a lot to make it worth the hassle harvesting them, particularly when commercial, industrially grown dry beans are so inexpensive in the store. Alas, folks are rarely willing to pay what it costs to grow them, even without considering labor. Still, they are among the most beautiful, flavorful, and healthy forms of protein available. They also help improve our soil, and so we keep a few in the rotation. If you’d like to indulge in some of our dry beans, it’s probably best to contact usdirectly and see what we have available.
Mild-tasting, tender white beans that are critical for minestrone.
So revered and important to the Cherokee people, they carried them with them on the Trail of Tears. Good for snap beans as well, we actually prefer them as dry beans. They are an exceptionally yummy black bean, and make good re-fried beans. The dried beans are a fun, almost rectangular shape.
A Hutterite heirloom bean. The Hutterites were an oppressed Anabaptist sect, which migrated from Ukraine to the Dakotas and Southern Canada in the mid to late 19th century. Green to yellow beans with a brown-black eye cook quickly and make a creamy bean chowder. On the Slow Food Ark of Taste, but alas, it’s page on their site currently (Jan 2013) redirects to Rhode Island Red chickens…
Cowpeas, or chickpeas, are a very versatile crop. One of the best nitrogen fixing crops, we grow them as a green manure ahead of corn in our main veggie rotation. They also secrete nectar not only from their flowers, but from leaf junctions as well, making them a long-producing honey crop for our bees.
We’re a bit too far north to be able to grow them all the way to maturity before the cold kills them, but when the weather cooperates, we get a sizable harvest. So, we figured we might as well grow an outstanding tasting variety! It costs quite a bit more (when we are out of our saved seed), but gives us some added genetic diversity – most of the cowpeas planted in the US are of only 2 different varieties! And, we get a great, meaty-flavored treat in the mix as well.
Red Kidney Bean
A large, light red kidney bean. Great for chili, minestrone, adding protein to salads, and any other use calling for a hearty bean flavor and texture.