Harvest of the Month: Beans

A sample of artwork created for the Harvest of the Month by West Tisbury School students. — Photo By Nicole Cabot

This January, kick off the New Year by celebrating Island Grown Schools’ Harvest of the Month — beans. These protein-packed legumes will give you the post-holiday energy boost you need to get through cold, dark days.

Dry beans are available year round in the bulk section at all grocery stores, and for added convenience you can also buy already cooked beans in cans. When purchasing canned beans, look for a low or no salt added brand.

Some popular varieties include: garbanzo/chickpeas, lentils, pinto, kidney, black, and cannelloni beans. In the garden, dry beans are planted in late May and grow all season to be harvested, dried, and shelled in the fall. Check local farm stands in the fall for interesting varieties of locally grown beans, such as Cranberry Beans at Morning Glory Farm.

Try to go “Meatless Monday” and use beans as the protein for your main dish. Make this kid-friendly Black Bean Hummus at home. Recipe courtesy of Robin Forte.

Black Bean Hummus


3 cups cooked black beans
3 Tbs. lemon Juice
3 Tbs. sesame Tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
1 Tbs. black sesame seeds, optional
1/4 to 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid or water as needed to thin hummus


Kids and parents, in a food processor, combine first eight ingredients until smooth, adding water or bean cooking liquid as needed. Add red pepper flakes if using. Put hummus in a serving dish or bowl, sprinkle with optional black sesame seeds.