Yoder Farm, and the Scoop on Beans

Yoder Farm, and the Scoop on Beans

Yoder Farm, and the Scoop on Beans

Liz Schafer, Editor

Liz Schafer, Editor

I’m not from Vermont, originally. But the place I grew up in, like much of Vermont, has an economy based on toursim and farming. I think that’s why I love it here; it feels like home. Some of my favorite memories are of afternoons spent playing in a friend’s hay barn, riding horses cross country and helping to harvest fresh food from my family’s garden, to be ‘put up’ for the winter months.

I recently spent a little time on the Yoder Farm in Danby, on what had to be one of the most beautiful days this fall. Ryan and Rachel Yoder run the farm – and market its produce – with a lot of help from friends and seasonal interns. Ryan was showing some visitors bean threshing when I arrived. We assembled in the big airy red barn, where bean plants, pulled about a month earlier to dry, were piled knee-deep. We grabbed several armloads of the dried plants and tossed them onto a tarp, which we dragged outside to an aged mechanical wonder – the threshing machine. When Ryan fired it up, a conveyor belt, supported by numerous gears and clacking metal parts, flew into action. The bean plants were tossed onto the belt, which fed them into the machine amid a whir of chaff, spitting out the remains at the other end, and filling the hopper with a colorful mix of beans, some spotted, some striped, some a shade of burnished gold.

In addition to dry beans, the Yoders also produce popcorn, apple cider and vinegar, root crops and more, which they market year-round at the Rutland Food Co-op, as well as several area farm markets.

By the way, beans should not, as Ryan explained, be a ‘musical fruit.’ Only dry beans that have been sitting around for a long time (like the ones we find in grocery stores) cause flatulence, because they’ve had time to become so starchy that the only way our guts can digest them is through fermentation. So go ahead and pick up some beans along with all the other crops that produced locally by a myriad of hardworking farmers. It’s time to start putting together some cold-weather favorites like chile and bean soup. I have a couple of great recipes, if you’re interested!

I look forward to sharing my discoveries with you as VNG’s new Editor. If you know of a unique experience, an interesting place or a local personality, I hope you will share it with me at [email protected]

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