Baer’s Best Beans, one of our newest vendors, will be making their debut at the Winter Farmers’ Market in Rollinsford this coming Saturday. Farmer Charley Baer will be bringing a variety of his handpicked, heirloom dried beans. In a recent article, “Growing Beans for Beantown“, Charley talked about his beans:
“People are familiar with lentils, kidney and chickpeas, but I am working hard to keep the old varieties alive, such as money beans and scarlet beauty beans. A favorite of mine is the flageolet, a French variety that is a green and white kidney-shaped bean. I grow my seeds true to type and do not cross fertilize them.”
In another piece, “Spilling the beans about a special crop“, Baer explains what makes locally gown beans so special:
“You can tell beans are too old when you cook them and cook them, and they never soften,” Baer says. Heirloom beans like Baer’s are prized not only for their unusual shapes and colors, but also because freshness makes a difference. Picked in September and eaten through the next year, the beans take much less time to cook and have better flavor.
Those already familiar with new crop beans are aware of this taste difference, yet also know the difficulty in finding sources for these. Luckily for us, Baer is transitioning his farm operations from Massachusetts to a more permanent home in Berwick, Maine. So make sure to drop by Charley’s booth and welcome him to the Seacoast! Lastly, special thanks go to Great Works Land Trust for helping to conserve working landscapes such as Lover’s Brook Farm.