Posted by: beyonddinner | February 9, 2009

Local beans!

My amazing colleague Ryan helped me find a source of locally grown beans!

Local beans

Local beans

He forwarded me a link to a two-year-old Boston Globe article about Moraine Farm where Charley Baer grows heirloom variety beans. He grows up to 100 different varieties of beans and for those that don’t grow well around here (like chickpeas), he purchases from farms around the country in small batches to bring here. I called him up and learned that the beans are sold at Russo’s (a wonderful place that we regularly go to).  I also learned that he might be willing to sell them in bulk if we got a group of people together to make a large order. I’ll have to work on that!

This morning I made my way over to Russo’s and found Baer’s Best Beans under the plum tomato display and I went crazy and purchased 7 pounds of dry goods (6 pounds of beans and 1 pound of golden flax seeds).  They cost around $2.79/lb.  There were a bunch of varieties, but I stuck with ones I’ve never seen before:

  • Calypso
  • Flageolets
  • Appaloosa
  • Bumblebee
  • French green lentils
  • Scarlet beauties

I’m looking forward to figuring out recipes that will work well with these beans. Googling all the bean types gave me some hints about how to use them. The Scarlet beauties look very much red kidney beans. The Calypso beans kind of look like black-eyed peas, but they can be used like cannellini or black beans. I found a site that says the Flageolets can work like navy beans. Appaloosa beans are related to pinto beans. The Bumblebee beans are a bit of a mystery – I didn’t find much on the web about them, just something about them absorbing water well. This calls for a bunch of experiments!



  1. Those look great! And Russo’s is right up the street from my office. I’ll have to try them out.

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