Beans and Greens!

Beans and greens (plus taters!) are pretty much the story these days at Willowood Farm as we wait for the ever-promised sunny weather and for the spring planted seeds to finally grow and do their thing.  Lucky for us (and you, we hope!), we have learned to best way to survive the winter and, even worse, the cold wet spring is to make sure to have lots of cold and dry stored veggies (like taters and dry beans), not to mention overwintered, cold hardy greens like kale and collards that come to life in the earliest and coldest of spring weather.
And the great thing about beans and greens is well, they go so well together!
Dry beans, as you may or may not know about Willowood, has been one of our endeavors for several years now.  We grow many specialty varieties that are rarely available to purchase except as seed stock for $15 to $20 a lb. Dry beans are not easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest.  Especially years like last one when it decided to rain for a month during the critical “curing and harvest” stage.  Eek.  Yet we have preserved and over the years, found varieties that do well in our cool, wet growing conditions.
One of our favorite varieties – Peregion Beans which we will be offering on special this week for $8 a lb, or two pounds for $15..

Peregion Beans – so pretty!

This particular variety is an heirloom variety found growing wild in a hedgerow in Oregon.  It is a uniquely beautiful bean, small and glossy with mocha colored swirls on a light tan base.  Plus, the “genome” of this seed produces about 30 percent beans that are a solid dark mocha.  Combined together, they are a beautiful melody of chocolate brown.   And Peregion Beans aren’t just legume eye candy, this little bean also packs a great culinary punch in addition to keeping their lovely swirled mocha coloring when cooked.  They cook firm, but thin-skinned and tender with a nutty, slightly “wild” flavor that is a treat all to itself.  This bean just needs a touch of onions and garlic, a bit of salt and pepper to shine.
Unlike the recent “store” pinto beans my husband recently cooked up because “we shouldn’t waste them,” unearthed from our cupboard shelves.  I was shocked how incredibly bad they were.  Tasteless and stale.  Yuck.
But combine some simply cooked Peregion Beans with some quickly braised greens and a scoop of rice (or for a truly local meal, over a scoop of Ebey Road Farm Emmer Farro) and you have a simple, delicious and incredible nutritious meal. This is our simple recipe for Peregion Beans and greens…

Simple Beans and Greens
            The Beans
1 pound Peregion Beans, soaked overnight (or if you forget to do that, simply put them in a pot covered with a water, bring to a boil, them turn them off and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes.  Drain water and then start your recipes.) 
            2 small yellow onions
            4 to 5 cloves of garlic
2 to 4 cups of liquid stock (chicken or veggie) or water.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine beans, chopped onion and garlic in stock pan.  Pour liquid over top so beans are covered 2x their depth.  Bring to a boil, once boiling lower to a simmer.  Cover and cook for approximately 2 to 3 hours, checking occasionally as you may need to add more water.  Once beans are tender, season with salt and pepper.
The Greens
2 bunches of kale, collards and/or chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
½ cup water or vegetable stock
Wash greens and strip leaves from their stem.  Chop coarsely.  Put oil into large sauté pan and add garlic.  Cook for a few minutes til garlic begins to soften.  Add greens.  Cook for about 30 seconds then flip to other side.  Greens should be slightly wilted on all sides.  Turn down heat to medium low, add liquid, cover and let cook another 10 to 20 minutes until greens are tender.
Serve beans over rice (of Emmer Farro) with greens on the side. Makes enough to serve four. 
Beans at our spring farmer’s market booth

 And of course, we have lots more wonderful veggie treats at the Coupeville Farmer’s Market today including:
From Willowood Farm:
* Red Bordeaux Spinach
* Chard bunches
* Braising Green mix
* Baby Pac Choi
* Kale bunches
* Head Lettuce
* Baby Potato Bags
* Peregion and Black Coco Dry Beans
From our friends and neighbors at Prairie Bottom Farm:
* Leeks
* Egyptian Walking Onions
* Rhubarb
* Spinach
* Carrots
* Dry Beans – including Coupeville’s famous Rockwell Beans
* Green garlic
* Chives
* Sara’s famous pie

From Ebey Road Farm
* Emmer Farro

Hope to see you at market!
Farmer Georgie
Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie

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