Check out this before & after picture of Hidatsa Shield Figure beans! They really plump when you cook them, and taste great. Hidatsa is the name of the tribe that originally grew these beans, and the dark part of the bean is supposed to resemble they way they painted their shields. I haven’t seen any Hidatsa shields, so I can’t verify that 😉
These beans were recently boarded on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. (Be sure to check their site out for all kinds of amazing foods in danger of disappearing.) We’ve grown Hidatsa beans for 2 years, and will keep them in rotation as a house favorite. Dry beans take up a fair bit of garden space, and take a long time to mature, but it’s worth the trouble to find out for yourself just how tasty heirloom beans can be. You can buy your own Hidatsa bean seed here, or check out Local Harvest to see who’s growing them near you.
Finally! Paychecks, days off, and end of road restrictions all aligned so we could have a load of gravel delivered. It was a fun day of being local. The gravel came from the pit nearly next door, then we drove 3.5 miles to our local Breckenridge Dairy for milk (check out this picture of the dairy drive-thru during our recent floods), ran into a neighbor who had just seen a friend/coworker/neighbor coming down the Pole Rd. on his tractor to spread the gravel for us. He brought his cute little dog, Roxie, with him, and took some of our homemade goodies back with him. We had to leave for grocery shopping and traded our hard earned cash for more local delights – fresh oysters from Taylor Shellfish farms. We grilled the oysters on the BBQ and ate them with lime wedges, hot sauce & melted butter.
We also attended a day of classes in assorted farm & livestock management called the Cattlemen’s Winterschool. Here’s this year’s class schedule, so you can get an idea of what is offered. It is a program of the Washington State University extension, and they have an incredible amount of useful information on their website alone, not to mention all the classes and publications available through them. More about our day of agricultural fun later this week!