In this third “Behind the seeds” interview in the international Slow Food convention in Torino “Terra Madre”, Clayton Brascoupe, from the north of Santa Fe in New Mexico, shares his experience with the legumes he grows on his farm.
In this video, we invite you to discover the story of the family farm of Clayton Brascoupe.
Clayton, the farmer behind the beans
Clayton is the Program director for the Traditional Native American Farmers association (Website here). In New Mexico, he grows vegetables and beans in his family farm: pinto beans, runner beans, peas, black beans, garbanzo beans (the local name for chickpeas)… He grows between 4 and 12 varieties of legumes each year depending on the climate. Clayton loves pulses for many reasons: they contain a lot of proteins, they are low in fats, they help other plants to grow thanks to the fixation of nitrogen in the soil, and they adapt easily to tough climatic conditions.
Varieties of Clayton’s farm
The Pinto Bean is a brown common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), with darker spots, very prolific and tasty. It is the most popular bean type among producers in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States.
The Runner Bean is a light and a dark purple bean. The insect pollinators love them because they have a red blossom to feed on.
It is grown both as a food plant and an ornamental plant.
The knife-shaped pods are normally green, but there are rare varieties that have very purple pods.
Clayton’s favourite meal: the “Chico”
The people from New Mexico like to cook beans because they have different flavors and they can cook them in different dishes.
One of the favorite meals of Clayton is the Chicos. Chicos are corns at the milky stage, traditionally roasted in an outdoor oven (“horno”). Once rehydrated, they taste just like the sweetest roasted corn that you can imagine, and you can eat it with Pinto Bean with a herb, and sometimes a fresh green chili.