Throughout my PhD program, I’ve been very lucky to meet amazing people and participate in some incredible projects. This summer (2022), we got a Colorado Department of Agriculture grant to conduct some outreach about a project to bring local beans to institutions like hospitals and schools. Wasteland of Wonder created an amazing film (~4 minutes) about the farm to table story of two Colorado pinto bean value-added products, and we also held the Cool Beans Colorado Bean Showcase. Why value-added, you ask? Because it can be challenging for institutions to work with dry beans, and they told us they wanted something quick and easy to use that was still healthy and local.
At the Cool Beans event, we began with presentations to tell the behind-the-scenes stories of Fiesta beans (a zesty, kettle-cooked bean) and Rocky Mountain Pinto Tempeh. Then, chef-student teams showcased delicious and versatile ways to use Fiesta beans (a zesty, kettle-cooked bean) and Rocky Mountain Pinto Tempeh.
My husband made these two videos (thank you, husband!), and this event was funded in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Thank you to everyone who made this event possible and who attended – your support makes local food systems initiatives that support our farmers and public health possible. Cool beans, indeed!