Ramona Farms Tepary Beans

photo credit: Ramona Farms

Thank you Ramona Farms for providing your vibrant Tepary Beans to the Tikkun Olam 3 art installation at the Jewish Cultural Center.

You are a beautiful example of “not standing idly by!”

Run your hands through this basket of beans and feel a connection to the Indigenous people of the Sonoran Desert.

These heirloom tepary beans are selected from the wild species growing in the Sonoran Desert and cultivated for at least a thousand years. The Akimel Oodham and Tohono Oodham continue to grow them on their reservation lands with summer rainfall in arroyos and limited irrigation along the Gila River – without pesticides and herbicides. The Tepary Bean is believed to be the worlds most drought tolerant bean, higher in fiber and protein than most other beans, a healthy, flavorful and low-glycemic answer to food security.

“And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them.” – Ezekiel 4:9

Terry and Ramona Button of Ramona Farm in Sacatan, Arizona have carried on this tradition for over 40 years to bring these heritage crops and better health to all of us.

Gabriel Mendoza and the people of the Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham nation in southern and central Arizona contribute their skills and fortitude in growing the tepary bean.

Agricultural ecologist and author Gary Paul Nabhan is a leader in the local food and the heirloom seed saving movements. He farms diverse heritage grains and beans on his homestead in Patagonia, Arizona, informed by the arid Middle Eastern homelands of his Lebanese ancestors.

“I think we’re going to see agriculture in the future looking much more in harmony with the desert rather than being in a struggle with a desert existence.” – Gary Paul Nabhan