[Market-farming] marketing dry beans

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Tue Jan 10 12:26:51 EST 2012

The other food safety issue is with how they are prepared (or not) prior to 
 consumption.  The vast majority of fresh produce is eaten fresh, ie, you  
don't cook a salad to 180F before eating it.  So any bugs on it (macro bugs  
or microorganisms) are intact and alive at time of consumption.  But dried  
beans are categorically cooked prior to consumption, unless there's a new  
fashionable recipe for rock-hard raw pintos out there.  Since it's  cooked 
immediately prior to consumption, the food safety concerns are a lot  
different than other veggie material, even grown side-by-side.  That might  explain 
why you haven't found much written material on food safety of dry  beans.  
It's not even really on the radar as a threat.
Richard - I read your comments about the need to harvest large quantities  
efficiently, and having a good way to clean them, before making a profitable 
go  at it.  We are already mulling the idea of (don't laugh) buying an 
All-Crop  harvester because we want to do small grains.  To date that seems one 
of  the more cost-effective pieces of machinery for that purpose, given our 
field  sizes, tractors and crop mix.  Adding dried beans to the All-Crop's 
to-do  list would seem to spread around the implement cost even further, 
while opening  up a new product market for us.  Do you concur?  We wouldn't be 
going  with such an old machine except for two things - first, we can count 
the number  of newer combines in this county on one hand, and they don't 
leave home (ie,  they are not available for contract harvesting jobs).  And 
second, we  already know we want to harvest field peas and sunflowers for our 
own livestock  fodder purposes, both of which are typically beyond the 
capacity of a standard  combine.  Would the All Crop meet your definition of 
"efficient harvesting"  equipment?  Anyone else with AllCrop experience, I'd love 
to hear from you  before we spend money.
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at  frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html
In a message dated 1/10/2012 7:06:28 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
wshoemak at illinois.edu writes:

Following up Richards comments, I don't think there are any special  
considerations for dry beans. Because they are dry rather than fresh, they  would 
seem to me to be a lower food safety risk than most food crops. I'm  
certainly not aware of any special laws for them. The closest I've seen to a  food 
safety incident with dry beans was peanuts infected with a fungus  
(aflatoxin?) that triggered an outbreak. However, dry beans are much less  
susceptible to aflatoxin than peanuts or corn. I don't think they represent  much risk 
if cleaned properly. 
William H. Shoemaker 
University of Illinois, Crop Sciences 
St Charles Horticulture Research Center 
535 Randall Road, St Charles, IL  60174 
630-584-7254, _wshoemak at illinois.edu_ (mailto:wshoemak at illinois.edu) 

From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org  
[market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] on behalf of Richard Stewart  [rstewart at zoomtown.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:56  AM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming]  marketing dry beans

I am in Ohio outside of Cincinnati.  We sell black beans.  This  is our 
second season doing so.  They are a slow mover in our single  market partly 
because of the high price.  We wold have a LOT of takers  for the beans if we 
came down in price, but if I did that I would loose money.  Right now I do 
not mind selling them slowly.  

Our total harvest was right around 1000# in 2010.  We sold half last  year 
and started selling them again this winter to fill in the gap between  
January and March.   We've put aside about 250# for our farm dinners this  year 
and have sold about half of the remaining beans.  I have chefs that  want 
hundreds of pounds but not at 2.50 to 4.50 a pound and at least one baker  that 
wants to make a high protein "Russian" black bread using them.  Customers 
also want to buy in bulk and get discount.

We plan to sell some as seed this spring as a local seed demand continues  
to grow.

These beans were harvested by hand in bulk then run through a harvester  
and a seed cleaner.  I'd love to produce them cheaper and charge less but  I 
need good cultivated ground for that...not river bottoms with weed  issues.

But to answer your question after rambling on...yes, there is a good  
demand for such things, especially as the Vegan/Vegetarian movement increases  
its numbers they need alternative sources of protein.

As to food safety they are an unprocessed dry food.  Ohio has zero  laws I 
have found to date dealing with this or the sale of wheat berries or  dried 

>From a economic standpoint you need to be able to grow alot of beans AND  
efficiently harvest and clean (debris, not wash) them to make money off them. 
 Reselling them as seed if you are growing small amounts is the best way  
to make money off them, especially if used as a rotation nitrogen crop in the 

Hope that helps.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
_rstewart at zoomtown.com_ (mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com) 

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