Shelling beans

Unlike green beans, shelling beans are eaten for the edible seeds inside and have pods that must be removed before the bean can be cooked or dried. Nutritionally, shelling beans are similar to dry beans, but in the kitchen they are treated as a vegetable, often steamed, fried, or made into soups. Most shelling bean crops are harvested when the pods and beans inside are dry, just before the pod shatters, and then typically sold as a dried product throughout the year. But you can find some of these varietals in their fresh state at the Farmer’s Market during the late summer and fall. A shriveled and slightly moist pod indicates a plump bean inside and when purchased fresh, shelling beans take only minutes to cook and do not require an overnight soak. They require very little preparation to taste delicious and are perfect on their own in a simple salad or as a meaty topper to a pasta dish. Many shelling beans are also sold dry to extend the season. Rancho Gordo, Tierra Farm, Dirty Girl and Iacopi Farm all sell dried beans throughout the year.

In Season

August, September, October

Articles about Shelling beans

August 15, 2014

10 Ways Farmers Are Saving Water

As California faces a historic drought, sustainability-minded farmers are using an arsenal of methods to conserve water.

August 08, 2014

Breeding a Better Chicken at Eatwell Farm

Eatwell Farm embarks on breeding their own heritage flock.

August 04, 2014

National Farmers Market Week

National Farmers Market Week is August 3-9! Celebrate by pledging your support for local farms and communities.

August 01, 2014

Rabbits, Pigs, and Herbs in Marin County

Take a behind-the-scenes look at Devil’s Gulch Ranch and Allstar Organics in Nicasio.

July 31, 2014

Volunteers of the Month: Summer Interns

CUESA says farewell and thanks to our summer interns, Sarah, Henry, and Janelle.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »