When Farmer Lee Jones is asked what’s best about our beans, his first answer is always about this crop’s succulent, fresh bean flavor—followed up by its:
Satisfyingly Crispy Texture
Second to None Flavor
Our farm fresh beans are regeneratively farmed with love, harvested at the absolute peak of freshness—and here’s more about this marvelous vegetable, including the one and only Carmellini® bean.
Health Benefits of Beans
According to Medical News Today, benefits of eating beans include:
Reduced risk of cancer
Blood sugar stabilization/diabetes control
Prevention of fatty liver
Weight control and all its benefits
Improved gut health
WebMD.com explains the benefits of beans in this way: “Beans are a great source of fiber. That's important because most Americans don't get the recommended 25 to 38 grams each day. Fiber helps keep you regular and seems to protect against heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and digestive illness.”
ConsumerReports.com, meanwhile, notes the following: “Though the term ‘superfood’ is applied to many foods these days, beans really may be deserving of the title”—and here’s one more quote. The World’s Healthiest Foods site shares how they “like to think about green beans as a ‘crossover’ food that can provide you with some of the great benefits that are usually reserved for legumes, as well as many equally strong benefits that are more closely associated with vegetables.”
Bottom line: beans are an excellent source of nutrition and a marvelous part of a healthy diet.
Regeneratively farmed beans from The Chef’s Garden add plenty of fresh bean flavor to the dishes and menus of our cherished chefs, and we love hearing about the creative ways you’re using them.
In return, we thought we’d share a few bean recipes from Chef Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute. If, for example, you’ve got some of our delicious wax beans, then we encourage you to try this crave-able salty and sweet recipe for pickled bean—and then use some of them on your Fried Zucchini Po Boys.
Yet another recipe that uses our wax beans: Blistered Wax Beans with Ponzu and Chili recipe.
Plus, our Summer Succotash recipe is the perfect way to enjoy the Three Sister ingredients that have long been cherished by Native Americans: beans, squash, and corn.
These ingredients taste delicious, both separately and together, and the crops—meaning the Three Sisters—complement one another in an agricultural sense. Beans are especially valuable to enhance soil health (and you know how important that is to all of us at The Chef’s Garden!) while squash leaves provide shade and protect available moisture—and corn and its upright stalks also play a key role.
Beans are the perfect ingredient for your dishes today and have also been part of people’s diets for thousands of years. Here’s more.
History of Beans
People have been eating and enjoying beans for a really long time—perhaps for more than 20,000 years—with evidence of them found in the tombs of Ancient Egypt. Plus, Homer mentioned them in the Iliad, a timeless piece of literature that was likely written about 2,800 years ago. “And as from a broad shovel in a great threshing-floor the dark-skinned beans or pulse,” he penned, “leap before the shrill wind and the might of the winnower.”
The Aztec and the Incan cultures cultivated beans more than 5,000 years ago and the world’s earliest known cookbook, De Re Conquinaria by Apicus, featured plenty of bean recipes. Some believe that the availability of beans during Medieval Europe saved many people from malnutrition, even starvation.
Here’s another historical, often-repeated story. When Catherine d’ Medici moved to France to marry the man who would later become King Henry II, she was said to smuggle beans with her—which supposedly led to the creation of cassoulet, which contained duck or lamb, plus white beans. Mum’s the word but the creative Catherine was whispered to have concealed the crop between her “expensive pearls and delicate lace vêtements.”
Now here’s a fact about beans that’s much less controversial and is really quite practical. The 19th century British domestic expert Mrs. Beeton would cook French beans in a braised fillet of mutton, as shown in the lamb and bean recipe below.
The chump end of a loin of mutton, buttered paper, French beans, a little glaze, 1 pint of gravy.
Roll up the mutton in a piece of buttered paper, roast it for 2 hours, and do not allow it to acquire the least colour. Have ready some French beans, boiled, and drained on a sieve; remove the paper from the mutton, glaze it; just heat up the beans in the gravy, and lay them on the dish with the meat over them. The remainder of the gravy may be strained and sent to table in a tureen.
Time. 2 hours. Average cost, 8½d. per lb. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons.
We’d love to know what Mrs. Beeton would have thought about a type of bean that’s unique to The Chef’s Garden: the Carmellini bean.
“These delicate beauties are the caviar of the vegetable world, a perfect choice when you want to add a dab of fresh bean flavor to complement your culinary dishes. Farmer Lee Jones suggests you float three of them on top of a soup, perhaps with a scarlet runner bean bloom to provide extra visual and textural appeal.” (Farmer Lee Jones in the Magic of Carmellini Beans)
These beans are named after a chef—Chef Andrew Carmellini. He loves the sweet, fresh, and earthy green bean flavor in these slender haricot verts, ones that are only about the thickness of pencil lead. After he tasted them, he then said he had a stupid question to ask. (Chefs: At The Chef’s Garden, the following cliché is 100% true. There are NO stupid questions. Ask, ask, ask.)
Now, here’s how that particular Q&A played out:
“I never thought about these beans ever being this size,” Andrew continued, “but why couldn’t they be used at this size?”
Lee replied that they could, in fact, be harvested at exactly that size.
“But what would you call them?” Andrew asked.
“That’s the easy part,” Lee said. “The Carmellini bean!”
Another person was on the farm tour when this conversation took place: Amanda Hesser, who was The New York Times’ food editor. She published a two-page spread about her experience at the farm, including the debut of the Carmellini bean—and, ever since, that magical crop has been a treasured offering at our farm.
Because of their delicate size, they’re gently hand harvested at a rate of about three person hours per pound. They each come with a marvellously succulent crunch, and we grow green beans, lima green beans, and purple beans.
Now here’s something else that’s beautiful about our Carmellini beans, You’ll receive about 1,400 of them in a one-pound order, making the cost per serving minimal as you strategically and thoughtfully use them to enhance flavor. “Use a dab to complement your dishes,” Farmer Lee suggests. “You’ll get a delicate hint of earthy green bean, so tender, and you can share the story of the bean with your diners.”
Quirky Bean Trivia
We might as well have a bit of fun! We hope you enjoy these fun facts about beans.
There’s a National Bean Day that’s celebrated each year, but it’s not scheduled when you might think. It’s on January 6, rather than a day when fresh beans are harvested from fields. January 6 was chosen to honor Gregor Mendel (he died on that date in 1884). He was a scientist who used bean plants and pea plants to study plant genetics and his work revolutionized the field.
Here’s another piece of trivia. Guinness World Records lists the tallest bean plant at 46 feet, 3 inches, and it was grown in 2003. For context, that’s about the size of two African elephants, positioned side by side.
Plus, Ancient Greeks used beans as part of their voting process, something Aristotle discussed in Constitution of Athens. Archaeologists have in fact found bean machines used for this purpose. Black beans were poured into the machine—except for one bean, which was white. The beans were released from the machine, one by one, with each of them corresponding with the name of a candidate for an office. When the white bean appeared, that person won the election.
Finally, here are a couple of utterly random bean facts:
During one count, 71,089 people had the last name of Bean.
A man named Barry “Captain Beany” Kirk sat in a bath of cold baked beans for more than 100 hours. Why not, right?
Order Your Farm-Fresh Beans Today
Please contact your product specialist and let us know how we can be your personal farmer. We’ll harvest upon order and ship fres