Greetings from Park Place!  Deni here with thoughts about dry beans.

Did you know that dried beans are a fantastic source of potassium – which builds muscles in your body?  And phosphorus – which helps build strong teeth and bones?

The Hidatsa Shield Figure Bean is an heirloom dry bean variety developed by the Native American Hidatsa tribe from North Dakota.  This fabulous bean produces big beans that are easy to sort, easy to cook and fabulous tasting!  Noted as one of the most productive dry bean varieties according to Slow Food USA (and others) we tend to agree.  We’ve been growing our own seed for years and have just brought in the 2014 harvest:  50 feet of row yielded 10 pounds of beans.  Not bad for a late planting which experienced cooler than normal temperatures and above average moisture.

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At our farm; crops grown for market have to meet a simple rule: Every linear row  foot of space needs to make $1.  100 foot beds need to bring in  $100 per season or they’re taken off market production.  (Corn got knocked off years ago as did peas). But beans tend to tow the line.  If you go to the store, you can buy beans that are conventionally grown, who knows where for pennies, but to grow heirloom, organic beans you need to dig into your wallet. If we look at seed prices at Seed Saver’s Exchange – 1# of beans sells for $11.00.  We can justify continuing to grow Hidatsa beans not only for our consumption but as a marketable crop as well.

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Thoughts of spring already dance in my head.