CASFS – Beans and Grains

The grains that we consume generally fall into into either cereal or non cereal grains. Cereal grains are categorized in the Poaceae family (grass family). At CASFS, beans and many other large seeded are planted deeply to moisture into pre-irrigated soil. Then, there will be no further irrigation until the plants break ground. After the initial pre-irrigation, rows can be flushed for weeds before the planting, to diminish the weed seed bank.

There are generally three types of beans, green beans, shell beans, and dry beans. Beans originate from Central Mexico to Central America, and are primarily a warm season planting that provides for a high density high nutrition crop. Beans need good drainage and warm days, as cold/wet soil can really hinder growth. Beans are self pollinating, and have good seed viability for 2-3 years. A major storage consideration is the bean weevil, which makes little holes in dry beans. To prevent weevils from breeding, place seeds in a freezer for a week after harvesting to kill larvae/eggs.


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Left – frijol de vaca

Right – Tekomari beans from Native Seed Search. These are very genetically variable.


Quinoa has been cultivated for 6,000 + years in the Andes, and is a sacred and ceremonial crop for the Incas. The growth of quinoa was actually suppressed by the Spanish during colonization. Quinoa has a full range of amino acids, and all parts of the plant are nutritionally rich, including foliage, flower, and seed. At CASFS, quinoa is typically transplanted to reduce symphylan damage to young roots. Quinoa is broadly adaptable to a wide range of climates. It can be started in plug trays one month before transplanting. Quinoa has a saponin covering, and must be soaked in water and rinses 6-8 times to leach out the saponin before eating (Industrial scale quinoa is pre-processed).






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