I added edamame and soybeans to my regular cooking when I was challenged this summer doing my Crop of the Month series when I featured soybeans. I decided to make a hybrid of a rice casserole I featured last year during Thirty Days of Food and included edamame in it too! Luckily, I found a soybean grower from Minnesota willing to be featured! Meet Drew of Parsley Farms!
FOOD GRADE SOYBEANS: DREW OF PARSLEY FARMS
When did you start farming? What brought you into farming?
I grew up on my family farm and have helped from a young age. At 17, I rented my first piece of property to begin my dream of farming independently. From a young age I enjoyed helping my dad. As I got older I recognized the opportunities that were within the farming industry that are untapped.
Are there any differences between your farm now and your farm when you were a kid?
The biggest change I’ve seen on our farm is that we’ve gone from a strictly production based operation to a production based business with vertical integration implementation. We not only produce our products but we have also established a relationship with our end users to provide the products they demand.
Who farms with you and what are their roles?
Ours is a family farm where I farm alongside my dad. We have two very dedicated full time employees that are a vital piece of our operation.
What has been the hardest part of farming for you? What has been the most satisfying part of farming for you?
The most difficult part of agriculture is always trying to be one step ahead in a very uncertain market. However, I love the opportunity to reflect and look back on the previous season and to refocus on a fresh new season. I enjoy analyzing the opportunity we have to improve as we go forward.
What crops do you grow and why?
Food grade soybeans, malt barley, rye grass for turf use. I consider the crops I grow specialty crops with a niche market. I enjoy the challenge of providing for a niche market and have made business decisions based on that.
What do you think was the most useful advance in farming such as machinery, genetics, chemicals, etc?
Technology and the awareness that comes along with that is one of the most useful advances in farming that I have seen. This can range from soil science to drainage applications.
What is your favorite thing to do with a food crop you grow?
We grow food grade soybeans because there is a large market out there that embraces the soy food industry. The malt barley industry has it’s own benefits.
Any memories you want to share about this feature ingredient?
My best memories that come from raising food grade soybeans is traveling to meet the end users in their culture to get a first hand look at the lifestyle and different ways our product is used.
What is one message you’d like to get across to the general public about what you do?
Consumers need to understand that we produce what they demand. Agriculture producers are very flexible in that they change their production depending on that demand.
This casserole could be super adaptable. Don’t like beans? Take em out! Don’t like sweet potatoes? Take em out! Or sub them for something you do like! I could also see this casserole as being a great way to get your kids to eat veggies in secret! 😉
- 2 cups water
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 1/2 cups edamame
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
- 8 ounce carton sour cream
- 1 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley, whatever you have)
- 1 - 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Pour in sweet potato and rice. Return to boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until brown rice is tender.
- In a large bowl, combine black beans, edamame, half of the cheese, sour cream, green chiles, flour, fresh herbs, hot sauce, and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Once the rice and sweet potato mixture is done, stir in to bowl. Transfer mixture to a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until heated through. Enjoy!