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Field beans Terra project

The field bean is an old crop that is currently very popular with growers in the province of Groningen. However, it is not widely used for human consumption, although it is possible. Terra’s students got to work on it. The beans are grown at the Suikerterrein in Groningen, among other places, which is also a learning environment for Terra students. They were right on top when the beans were harvested and dried.

Sustainable crop

The field bean has many advantages. They contain a large amount (more than 27%) vegetable proteins. And the field beans retain the nitrogen in the roots, so it does not end up in the soil. The cultivation of the field beans improves the soil and biodiversity.

Protein transition

If people eat more broad beans, they get vegetable proteins and they no longer need to get their proteins from animal products. This means fewer animals are needed and CO2 emissions will be reduced.


Many field beans are still used for livestock farming. That is a shame, because many of these beans can also be used for human food. The students were commissioned by the Toentje Foundation to make a tasty end product. This ensured that the products end up at the Food Bank.

The result: a gluten-free pasta, pizza base and a dipping sauce. The students took a good look at the different target groups for the products, these are very suitable for use!

Cooperating parties:

  • Toetje Foundation
  • The food bank
  • Terra Groningen

With the flour of the field bean you can make surprisingly tasty products. The Terra students discovered this during their very first project assignment. The problem for which a solution was sought was an issue surrounding the field bean. What can you make from the field bean, pure or grinded? The students were given five weeks to think about it, make a prototype and design a packaging with a flyer. In good spirits, three groups of students set to work with the ‘Design-Thinking’ method. Some products turned out not to be the right choice and students simply started experimenting again. Ultimately, a prototype field base (pizza), a dipping sauce and a pasta were developed and presented to client Jos Meijer van Toentje, the social vegetable garden in the city of Groningen. But of course much more can be made from field beans and field bean flour. Students submitted their solutions for the Impact Prize of Groenpact. They were all nominated! And on March 4, 2021, the redeeming answer finally came. The students won the 1st prize, a cash prize of € 2500.00. Together with the students, we devise a good destination for this amount of money. They are thinking about improving the prototypes and scaling up the products.

We have now grinded more than 300 kilos of field bean flour and students pack this in sealable bags, make a label and a logo. They are now trying to sell the flour during an alternative internship. Not all students have been able to find a good internship, which is why we came up with this project. All courses are reflected in the project. Students go through the various work processes with an external supervisor.

First of all, the students have now gained experience in promoting their product in Ekoplaza Drachten. There the students were given a presentation table to present the flour. “It went like a train, customers were very enthusiastic,” says Elina, who was working in the Ekoplaza. Now the next step is looking for more companies to get sales done. If successful, the students can educate farmers so that they start thinking about growing differently.

The students also came up with various recipes and put this into a recipe booklet. This link will take you to their online recipe booklet.

This way of entrepreneurial education is typical for Terra. Collaborate with the real, working world. Receive assignments from entrepreneurs and governments who develop the students in project groups. The themes vary according to the field of study. Field beans project was an assignment for the students of the Food, Life & Innovation program.

This way of entrepreneurial education is typical for Terra. Entrepreneurs and governments provide assignments or issues to the students, which they then carry out in project groups. The students must link each project, each assignment, to one or more SDG goals. A very good way to raise awareness among students and teachers. The themes vary according to the field of study. Field beans project was an assignment for the students of the Food, Life & Innovation program.

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