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From soups to stews, beans are a key ingredient in delectable cold weather meals. Windrose Farm has certified organic fresh dried beans that make a delicious winter treat.

Windrose Farm is a small family farm owned by Bill and Barbara Spencer in Paso Robles, and is located in a unique microclimate that is excellent for growing diverse crops. Windrose has been registered as an organic farm with the State of California since 1993, and certified with California Certified Organic Farmers since August 1999. The farm has been “clean” for 10 years, since its purchase in 1990. For the first three years, Bill worked to bring life back to the soil with compost and cover-cropping yearly. Bill and Barbara state, “The longer we farm, the more enthralled we are with the old traditional seeds and plants. We strive as much as possible to use open-pollinated or heirloom varieties and have begun our own seed-saving program. Every day brings us more knowledge and a stronger belief in the principals and practices of sustainable organic farming. It is complex and labor-intensive – but the burst of life in the soil and the habitat of our little valley is astonishing.”

Two of Windrose’s finest beans are White Tepary and Dos Mesas. White Tepary beans are the sweetest of the tepary beans. It is a firm, creamy high-protein heirloom bean from the American Southwest, and is highly regarded for its great flavor and food value. The Dos Mesas bean is a soft gray bean with bold, crescent moon-shaped black liaes. It has a wonderful sweet, nutty flavor and creamy texture. For added flavor, cook the beans with Windrose Farms smoked tomatoes. The smoked tomato will add a wonderful taste to the beans and also reduce the amount of salt needed to season. To make soup, cook vegetables and greens of your choice separately from the beans and then add everything together in your favorite broth at the end. One of Barbara’s favorite bean recipes is a “stack.” To make the stack, sauté greens in a lot of garlic. Then add a scrambled or sunny side egg, whichever you prefer, add cooked beans, top with your favorite cheese and drizzle with olive oil for a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner.

Windrose Farm is at the Wednesday Farmers’ market. To learn more about Windrose Farm, go to windrosefarm.org.

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