Trying to buy small-farm beans

After my smashing success buying cornmeal and flour from Castle Valley Mill, a local mill, I want to try getting beans! In the past, I’ve bought some from Rancho Gordo, a California-based company selling heirloom and rare bean varieties. Now that we’re in New York, however, I’d love to find some East Coast suppliers!

The small grain farm and mill map I’ve shared previously has some overlap with beans. I also found a list focusing on bean growers, and an organization and map focusing on small farms near Boston. Some bean suppliers I found mostly in the eastern half of the US:

  • Anson Mills (SC) – heirloom sesame seeds, red field peas, purple cape beans. They also have larger quantities and a wider selection of products available “wholesale” (not sure if you actually need a wholesale license).
  • Meadowlark Organics (WI) – black beans, cranberry beans
  • Mulberry Lane Farm (IL) – various common types of beans, lentils, and peas from the US and Canada. Also sell other dry goods.
  • Ramona Farms (AZ) – tepary beans, chickpeas
  • Rio Del Rey Beans (CA) – tepary beans, anazape beans, rio zape beans
  • Westwind Farm (MI) – kidney beans, cannellini beans
  • Shadyside Farm (MI) – variety of heirloom/rarer beans, sourced from other farmers in area
  • Aurora Mills and Farm (ME) – yellow split peas (can’t buy from directly?)
  • Zürsun Idaho Heirloom (ID) – not-so-small operation, but has a wide variety of beans, peas, and lentils. Works with several hundred farmers in the area (can’t buy from directly?)
  • Baer’s Best Bean (MA, some items sourced from other farms in ME, NY, and the Midwest) – wide variety of heirloom and common beans, and lentils and split peas!! Good East Coast replacement for Rancho Gordo. They also have an Instagram page showing bean-processing steps!

Honorable Mentions!

  • Quality Organics (IL): buckwheat hulls as an agricultural byproduct! Anyone need to make a pillow?
  • Flourist (British Columbia, Canada): wide variety of traceable Canadian beans. Farmers are in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan

I’m looking into Baer’s at the moment. I sent a message to ask where the lentils and peas are grown – from a 2007 interview with the owner, lentils and chickpeas don’t do well in New England due to the relatively wet weather.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.