Over the last couple of weeks we've been spot-harvesting mature parts of several of the bean fields. We were trying to get some of every variety harvested, milled and sorted. We wanted to bring them to the Ag Symposium and we also wanted to start selling them at farmers markets.
Hutterite Soup Beans, which cook fast and make a creamy soup without the need for dairy products.
Yellow Indian Woman Beans, which retain their shape well, and are less starchy. These beans are good in salads, and can be used in place of the common black turtle bean when you want a different color.
Black Valentine Beans, which taste a bit like kidney beans. They are great for salads, soups and dips. They are larger and more shiny than black turtle beans.
October Beans, a member of the cranberry bean family. These beans have a creamy texture, a slightly nutty flavor, and thin skins. Use in soup and chili.
Jacob's Cattle Beans, great for traditional baked beans or cassoulet. They have the taste and texture of new potatoes. Last year we grew Jacob's Cattle, as well, and they were much more speckled red and white. This year's crop is almost uniformly solid red. Perhaps the difference in weather conditions and soil?
Still to come: Pinto, Black Turtle, Jacob's Cattle Gold, Nuña, and Green Flageolet (a.k.a. "french beans" for those of us here who have a hard time pronouncing "flageolet"). All these beans are grown right here on our farm in West Michigan. All are certified organic, and most are also heirloom beans.