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Mar 2, 2010 08:53 PM

ISO Heirloom Dried Beans or Rancho Gordo Beans in Toronto


I was wondering if anyone has seen the delicious looking Rancho Gordo heirloom dried beans anywhere in Toronto? I am kicking myself for not buying some when I was last in the USA!

If not, does anyone know of a source for interesting or heirloom dried beans in the city?


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  1. wow - timely post! i too am looking for heirloom beans ...

    has anyone tried to order from rancho gordo??


    4 Replies
    1. re: lilaki

      Haven't called yet, but the Rancho Gordo website says:

      Canadian orders:
      call 707/259-1935
      for more information

      Maybe good news?

      1. re: ehmi

        just called...products are shipped via UPS ... shipping depends on weight. the person i spoke with said that shipping + duty averages about $5 - 7 per pound.


        1. re: lilaki


          Thats some new math I don't want to learn!

          1. re: lilaki

            That's because UPS charges a fortune for brokerage fees. See if the company will ship USPS, which generally charges no brokerage.

            As for me, I ship regularly to Port Huron, MI and pick it up myself (an hour drive from London)

      2. i found this thread:

        i'm really hoping things may have changed in the last year or so ... :(

        1. This thread smacks so much of "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence".
          Beans and peas are well suited to southwestern Ontario growing conditions, and we should be seeking out these varieties from local farmers.
          I am surprised Chowhound has not eliminated these posts because they do not point out good chow now at hand.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jayt90

            Check out - they are a fantastic organic company (I've been getting my organics from them for a year now), and they carry local heirloom dried beans.

            1. re: Katzen

              great - thanks, katzen. i'll look into FDO.

              1. re: lilaki

                FDO looks cool but is there any way of getting beans from them w/o a monthly subscription?!

                1. re: Hmm

                  i just called ... any orders must be accompanied with a fresh box - even if it's just a one time order of produce. i'm already getting my veggies from another delivery company so i don't want to double up right now.

            2. re: jayt90

              Not sure the thread smacks of anything other than chowhounders trying to help one another find sources for heirloom dried beans. I live in SW Ontario, and while conditions are great fir growing beans, most farmers grow soy beans as a cash crop and the focus of most of the farm industry is on quantity over quality. So I appreciate the suggestions and questions in this thread -- Katzen made a nice one for those in Toronto.

              Why shouldn't the OP kick him/herself for not getting a great product while he/she was stateside? One reason I love to travel is to sample and bring back exciting food from around the world. While SW Ontario has a good growing season, the total farmable land here is a tiny fraction of what exists in the U.S., and while most of that land to the south is used to grow the most at the cheapest price, there are still a wealth of quality growers.

              When it comes to finding great food, I think our horizons shouldn't end at the border.

            3. I recently bought small bags of heirloom dried beans from Big Carrot. They had several heirloom varieties available. I bought 'painted pony' beans (see photo – not mine).

              They were not cheap: c. 1 lb for $5-6, if I recall correctly. Very tasty though!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Atahualpa

                hi atahualpa,

                thanks for the reco for the big carrot ...i've really got to make an effort to get out that way!

                1. re: lilaki

                  To reply to the poster who suggested supporting local sources, I almost always do and have still always found interesting heirloom dried beans difficult to find, hence the post for suggestions on where to find some. Atahualpa posted a picture of Jacob's Cattle Beans, which are beautiful and easy to grow in Canada (especially in the Eastern part of Canada), but I wanted something new. If this post should be deleted because I want something from out of the country, than I would imagine a lot of posts would need to be deleted on this board.

                  For those who may be looking for heirloom beans, I have since found some pre-packaged mixed local beans available at the Rowe Farm stores in Toronto, but they are not available by individual bean type.

                  Rowe Farms
                  912 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

                  1. re: To Market To Market

                    Just for the record, the photo I posted and the beans I bought were "Painted Pony beans". These are distinct from Jacob's Cattle Beans.



              2. Vendors at the Wychwood Barns market tend to carry several interesting varieties of dried beans grown on their farms.