Dry-farmed beans from a Santa Barbara family farm in operation since 1912. Four varieties available: Yellow Beans, Christmas Lima Beans, Butter Beans, and Garbanzo Beans. (
Short of Jack and the Beanstalk, these family-farmed legumes are about as “magic” as beans can get. The secret to these tasty beans is that they are freshly harvested and dried so that when cooked, they taste like a vegetable, not a starch, and therefore have more innate flavor. In addition to your apple a day keeping the doctor away, eat beans, for they are high in key nutrients such as antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc.
It is not necessary to soak dried beans in advance, but 6-8 hours sitting in water will help to decrease the cooking time. If you didn’t think that far in advance, you can proceed straight to cooking. Take a large pan and add enough water to cover the beans by an inch. Season with whatever you desire, but forgo the salt, as this causes beans to harden. Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower heat to a very gentle simmer so that the delicate skins of the beans don’t rupture.
Beans can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to fully cook, and are done when they are easily pierced with a fork or mashed between your fingers. 1 cup of dried beans usually yields about 3 cups when cooked.
The back of the butter bean bag comes with directions for homemade hummus, while the other varieties are printed with a recipe for chili con chocolate.
In 1912, Candido Pata, a Swiss immigrant to the United States, made a livelihood and provided for his family by farming beans and raising cows on 20 acres of land in Lompoc, CA. The tradition carries on today as his grandsons Kenny and Richard continue to till over 225 acres of land near Santa Barbara, CA. The beans are dry-farmed, meaning that they are not irrigated or watered, which helps to save precious water in drought-prone Central California.
Kenny’s wife, Erin, designs and prints the muslin sacks that the beans are packed in. Their young children, Anna, Adam and Claire, help fill the bags of beans for sale at their family farmstand or for shipment to eager customers around the country.
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