Pinto beans have long been a key part of the agricultural economy in central New Mexcio. The Route 66 town of Moriarty, which calls itself the Pinto Bean Capital of the World, hosts a Pinto Bean Fiesta each year. In nearby Edgewood, Wildlife West Nature Park has completed construction of a Pinto Bean Museum. The museum, which is adjacent to a 1900s pinto bean barn, gives visitors an opportunity to experience the rich history of pinto bean farming in the area.
The Pinto Bean Museum displays antique bean processing equipment, farming artifacts and local historic photos. There are trade etchings on the bean chutes that were made when farmers weighed and bagged the crop during the peak of the season. There is also a timeline on the historical use of pintos dating to 2000 B.C. Local historians and farmers Chapo Mc Combs, Carroll Bassett and Dean Schwebach were interviewed for a film that is shown in the museum.
The museum, which is among the NRGNHA’s grantees, is open daily, year-round. For more information, call (toll-free) 877.981.9453 or email Info@WildlifeWest.org.