The Bean Man


Published Winter, 2008
Edible Portland


Usually "a hill of beans" is a folksy colloquialism for something of trifling value. Four years ago, a paltry handful of beans inspired Oregon Tilth co-founder Harry MacCormack to purse the ambitious goal of relocalization, or taking back what was once local and is no longer, but should be. The concept is particularly appropriate when applied to agriculture in the south Willamette Valley, where a wide variety of food crops was once produced but is now dominated by farms growing grass seed for the global market.

MacCormack has always been a local food advocate. During the 40 years that he's been farming in the southern Willamette Valley, he has promoted biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture in the state by pioneering sustainable farming techniques and helping to initiate the first organic farm certification program. Recently, he's been experimenting extensively in the field with a hodgepodge of grains, legumes and edible seed crops. Read the rest of the article online.