Rancho Gordo is based in Napa and works with small farmers in Mexico to carry on the cultivation of indigenous crops. Their primary focus is heirloom beans but they also work with spices, salt and corn.
Mexico is a country rich in tradition and regionally focused cuisine. Through the work that Rancho Gordo does, farmers are able to grow crops that are suited for their region and that have been grown for generations, rather than being forced to grow commodity driven crops that produce generic and bland products.
As consumers, we get the advantage of cooking and eating unique beans that would otherwise not be available in our market. Heirloom crops are more diverse and rich from a nutritional standpoint and provide more pop for our palette!