Fresh Heirloom Dry Beans are simple, delicious and super versatile. Cooked with a Beautiful  piece of Kelp the beans become smooth and creamy without loosing their shape and go through a chemical change that make them more nutritious and easier to digest.  The kelp and onions melt into a creamy sauce surrounding the beans. For really authentic Mexican style beans  the other key ingredient is an herb called epazote. Some onions, a touch of cumin, Chipotle, black pepper and salt and you’ve got the base to any number of meals. At this meal I grabbed a piece of mahi mahi from the freezer and some pickled jalepenos from my garden, some lime a voila an amazing meal in 15 minutes(the beans were cooked at an earlier meal). I coated the fish in curry leaf powder, pasilla chili, and salt to blacken with the fish. The recipe for the  Mexican beans follows!


  • 3 cups Soldier, Yellow eye, or kidney
  • two medium onions
  • 1 piece kelp
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • epazote
  • bay leaves
  • chipotle
  • curry leaf powder
  • pasilla chili powder


  • Soak your beans overnight covered by several inches of water(or use boiling hot water to soak 1-2 hours before cooking).The pre-soaking isn’t strictly necessary but will help the beans cook more evenly.
  • Put the soaked beans in their soaking liquid on to boil still covered by a couple inches of water.
  • bring to a full boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer.
  • add 5-6 inch piece of Kelp, a tbs of epazote and a bay leaf or two.
  • Don’t add cold water to the pot as they cook but heat some extra water in case you need some more liquid to keep them mostly covered.
  • While the beans cook saute your onions and garlic until translucent in your preferred or most handy fat(butter, bacon drippings, olive oil etc…)and add spices.
  • The beans will take around forty minutes to fully cook but just keep checking them to arrive a a perfectly creamy bean.
  • Try to allow the cooking liquid to concentrate as the beans get close to done. Pour off any excess cooking liquid if necessary.
  • after about 30 minutes of cooking you can add the sauteed onions etc to the bean pot and begin to salt to taste and reduce the cooking liquid to a creamy sauce.
  • cook enough for the week and have fun with all the possibilities i.e. bean tacos, huevos rancheros, refried, served with pork, chicken or fish alongside rice, salads or make into  a bean soup whole bean or pureed!

The New Mill

This past January out in Hardwick, MA I went to Stan White’s Farm to help setup Stan’s new Ostiroller Getreidemulen mill from east Germany. We spent sevarl hours making sure the mill stones were aligned properly and that and microscopic bumps or ridges were smoothed before running any grain through.

Ben and Stan Mill


Heads together web

Once things were in proper order and Alan Zuchowski showed up with the Nothstine Dent corn and Red Lammas Wheat we began the 25 hour grind to get the flour for the share all milled up. Things went very smoothly and the flour for the share was all bagged up in plenty of time for the distribution. Having this mill available in state is a really nice step forward in making local grains easier to use although of course nothing beats a home mill for your grains. Thanks to Stan and his son Simon for making this happen!

mill web close up