BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Should More Grass Seed Farmers Grow Chickpeas?

with 5 comments


Chickpea Dal with Argula/Watercress

Chickpea Dal with Argula/Watercress

Yes, this region is known for its abundant farmers’ markets and vineyards. But half the tillable land in the Willamette Valley is planted with the inedible crash-crop grass seed. Linn County, which neighbors Corvallis, is known as the grass seed capital of the world.

But local food security advocates are trying to change that. Through a USDA rural business grant, they convinced six local farmers to try planting some of their grass seed fields with edible chickpeas and wheat to develop a local food supply. The local Ten Rivers Food Web group just sold the first harvest, in 5 lb. sacks (see below).

Not only are dried garbanzos affordable, but the locally grown ones tasted especially flavorful and fresh. They were a bit mud-coated, but that’s nothing a good soak and rinse couldn’t fix.

I recommend the Chickpea Dal recipe I found by Matthew Card on Culinate. Argula and watercress made a fine spicy substitute for the mustard greens. And I used less coconut milk (substituted turkey broth) and tomatoes than the recipe called for.


Written by baltimoregon

December 11, 2008 at 12:16 am

5 Responses

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  1. Laura – The two recipes, tortilla soup and the dal sound very interesting. I have printed them out and hopefully will make them within the next couple of weeks. Will need to do a little adapting because of the kosher house. When I do make them, I’ll let you know what we think! Really sorry to hear about NPR cuts. Judy


    December 11, 2008 at 5:55 am

  2. I agree with Judy– I think I’m going to try both of these recipes soon. Both look pretty easy with easy-to-find ingredients. Thanks!


    December 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm

  3. Great and you can use any kind of greens for the dal, even spinach. Surprised that I finally posted some recipes with easy-to-find ingredients?


    December 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

  4. […] in the back of the cupboard. I used soft white wheatberries from Stalford Farm here in Oregon (the same source of my locally-grown chickpeas), black wild rice and an Israeli couscous/quinoa blend. This is a recipe that’s hard to screw […]

  5. […] entries were variations on potato leek soup (one included smoked salmon, unique). I also used the dried chickpeas harvested from a nearby grass seed farm. But it wasn’t an original recipe (I adapted it from […]

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