February 4, 2016

Know Your Farmer: Rancho Llano Seco

llano seco wetlands

Photo by Rancho Llano Seco 

We know that our customers are familiar with Llano Seco’s delicious heirloom bean varieties but this ranch has a unique history, philosophy and long-standing commitment to sustainable farming that we wanted to share with our farm family. Located at the northern end of California’s Sacramento Valley, the 18,000-acre ranch is home to native grasslands, wetlands and forests abundant with wildlife.

llano seco family photo

Photo by Rancho Llano Seco 

Rancho Llano Seco was incorporated in 1861 and has a rich history of balancing agriculture, livestock husbandry and conservation. The Rancho is one of the last Mexican land grant properties that remains intact. It is a reminder of a lost era when Californian, American, Mexican and Spanish history intersected.

llano seco wildlife refuge

Photo by Rancho Llano Seco 

Between 1991 and 2006, the ranch’s owners took a bold step, destined to change the Llano Seco landscape forever. They sold conservation easements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy in 1991 and an agricultural conservation easement to Northern California Regional Land Trust in 2006, guaranteeing the protection of natural habitats on this land in perpetuity.

llano seco beans

Photo by Rancho Llano Seco 

With over 150 years of experience cultivating legumes and cereals, Llano Seco has applied their know-how to growing older varieties of beans and grains, ensuring that heirlooms continue to be available for those who put a premium on flavor.


If you haven't already tried Llano Seco's heirloom beans, we highly recommend that you do.This flavorful, comforting soup is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It's also filling and makes a great leftover for lunch.

Brazilian Black Bean Soup
(serves 4)

1 cup Black Turtle beans (we used Llano Seco), soaked overnight
8 cups Water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt (or salt to taste)


Drain the beans and place them in a large soup pot. Add the 8 cups of water (the water will cook down) and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until the beans are cooked through, about an hour and a half. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the onions, garlic, chopped parsley, cumin and Tabasco sauce to the soup pot and cook for 20 minutes to let the flavors meld. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Add salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley if desired. This soup would also be good with sliced avocado, sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

Check out our other Llanco Seco bean recipes to try:

Crockpot Chili Let your crockpot do the work for you and come home to dinner.
Hoppin' John This recipe doesn't just have to be for New Year's! We love the creamy, buttery, black-eyed peas in this dish.
Love Me Lima Bean Soup Lima beans are no longer the foods your parents used to punish you with.

How To Add Llano Seco Beans To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. The Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery. 

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.