Tenera Grains Farm Update - April 2023
A farm update from Addison, Michigan!
Harvest in the fall was very exciting on the farm because of a new-to-us combine that came with new corn and soybean heads! While it was definitely an investment, the efficiency has been spectacular and it will pay for itself in a few years just based on how many more bushels we can pick up per acre. Our old combine just wasn’t as advanced tech wise so it would leave hundreds of pounds out on the field for our deer friends (that’s a joke as we dislike deer very much). So the harvest went very well for corn and soy, moderately well for buckwheat and not our best for teff. The weeds end up choking out the teff because of how delicate the plant is especially at the beginning of its life cycle.
As for the cleaning and processing facility - we’re starting the process to certify the building as organic! That means we’ll be able to clean and process organic gluten free grains without those grains losing their status as organic. The grain supply chain goes from farm to cleaner to processor(s) to ingredient supplier, or in our case the food manufacturer. If at any point in that process the organic status isn’t maintained the end product can’t be considered organic.
What that means for the general public is that there are fewer places food brands can purchase organic ingredients. When there’s demand for these ingredients with limited supply, prices are higher.
So that’s what we’ve been working on! We’re also planning which crops will be planted in what fields. And we’re testing out a different way to grow corn that warranted a new corn planter - farmers love collecting equipment like I love collecting glass jars for my bulk ingredients. We’ll let you know if it works!