A new year and new beginnings. It's the best time to celebrate the lessons from the past. Which is why this blogger eats beans.

“This site is a celebration of food. It is about hailing the beauty and diversity in the plant world and the joy of cooking and eating with friends, and the stories that emerge from those experiences. It's a recipe site, reaching for the most creative and freshest ways to prepare the food we eat and share. It's about holding onto the things that matter, those bits and pieces that will become our own history.”

“How many beans can you name? If you're bean-literate, you might be familiar with 12 or so. Astonishingly, there are about 4,000 different varieties of what we loosely call “bean” that are cultivated in the U.S. alone. But many of these are barely surviving, maintained by a small group of preservationists and home gardeners who have fallen in love with the possibilities.

Diversity is nature's wild card. Prehistoric people consumed close to 1,500 wild plants and cultivated about 500 of them. Today, we depend on about 30 plants for 95 per cent of our food needs.

This puts our food supply at risk, and places many plants in extinction's path. In a world where we're all trying to be the same, so much depends upon the quirks that make us distinct. And so it is with the biological diversity in our food choices, that wild but tenuous jumble of living plants, animals and seeds.”

Hence her plan. “I'm going to eat my way through a year's worth of heirloom beans... I'll track down, obtain, and cook with a different variety of bean — Moon beans, tepary beans, black valentine, Chinese red, a whole kaleidoscope of beans, most of them heirlooms (but if I'm getting desperate by November, we'll see). Fifty-two different beans. This will be a true celebration of the beauty and diversity of one small part of the foods available to us today...

My hope is that this will help reintroduce these beans into the food chain. That is, I hope you will go out and look for these beans, buy them, grow them, steal them (but not from me), talk about them, and above all, celebrate them and give them a permanent place on your table.”

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