Thankful for Beans

Last year around Thanksgiving, I did a quick post on 5 reasons to be thankful for beans. (PS It’s not a list of health benefits or what you may expect – I hope you enjoy!) Could I go on longer? 1,000% yes, I could. But I stopped at five to keep it short and sweet. As I learn more and more about beans every week, I am more and more grateful for them. So, in keeping with the season and Thanksgiving, I want to share a few fun bean-related things for which I am grateful.

Bean-y Sources of Joy and Gratitude

Bean Art. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – bean art brings out the happy in people. I tell people we’re going to do bean art, and here is the general progression of how an adult with a child responds: First, skeptical side-eye. Second, “Okay, I’ll let my kid do it and just watch.” Third, their supervision morphs into very, very active engagement and strong opinions about artistic design. Fourth, they either comment on how peaceful bean art is and/or shove their kid out of the way and take over themselves (okay, admittedly, this may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but you get the idea). The bottom line is that bean art is fun for all ages, relaxing, and a great holiday time activity. Or activity at the County Fair. Or really, anywhere, any time. And it you’re on the go and can’t sit down to get your bean crafting on, don’t worry – there’s an app for that.

Pinto bean field
A field of pinto beans in Otis, Colorado

Farmers, Bean Breeders, and Agronomists. Farmers are some of the most amazing people, and I have infinite respect for the incredibly hard work they do. If you are a bean farmer, thank you!! I’m very grateful for the hours spent in fields with farmers, bean breeders, agronomists, and others, who had the patience to answer my questions, let me hop in the tractor, talked me through understanding more about bean variety trials, and who help grow such an important and nutritious food!

Bean breeder Carlos Urrea with black bean plants
Bean breeder Dr. Carlos Urrea, in Nebraska

My Husband. Wait, you wonder, what does he have to do with beans? Well, he joined me for dates in bean fields, ate more beans every week than many people eat all year, listened to me ramble on (and on…and on) about beans pretty much 24/7, joined me for field trips to split the driving, helped me film bean videos, and much more. So yep, he counts.

Bean Travels. Do you know what one of my favorite things to do while traveling is? I imagine you can at least hazard a guess that it is bean-related, which would make you correct. This year, I had the honor of traveling with the US Dry Bean Council to present on beans in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Visiting markets, grocery stores, and restaurants to see the differences in beans that are available and popular is fascinating!! If you haven’t planned a trip around beans yet, what are you waiting for?

Beans in a market in Guatemala
At a market in Guatemala City

Bean Swag. Bean shirts, necklaces, sweatshirts, magnets, stickers, and much more. I don’t think I need to clarify why I am thankful for bean swag, because it’s so obvious how cool it is, right??

Bean shirts
Bean swag makes great gifts – thank you, family!

Bean Community. I love that there is an ever-growing group of people who recognize the incredible potential of beans to help save the world. This bean community includes you!! Thank you for reading and for being interested in beans and all they have to offer us! πŸ™‚

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