Word is getting out about Riverbend and we are fielding calls from interested farmers across the state! In the past few weeks we have spoken to farmers in Granville County (near Kerr Lake) and Polk County who are interested in growing grain for us during the 2011-12 season.
Since Polk County is just an hour south of Asheville, I scheduled a visit to meet the farmer (Bruce Edwards) and “talk shop” in his driveway. His directions led me to the beautiful community of Greens Creek near Columbus. This area is a mosaic of small family-run farms and dairy operations set against the backdrop of the Appalachian mountains.
Bruce had done his homework, this grain had been tested for disease, germination, and kernel weight….all the of the information we need to make our purchasing decisions. As we spoke, he told me about his experience growing wheat and rye in this region, including many of the challenges that he faced with regards to market fluctuations, rising fuel costs, and changing regulations. I offered to send him some information on the organic certification cost-share programs as well as some the specifications we will be looking for from the 2011-2012 harvest.
I started malting the rye that evening as I was eager see how it would perform. I followed the same steeping and temperature regime that we applied to our barley and wheat trials over the next few days. The grain chitted within 24 hours and went through the remaining stages without any surprises. Take a look….
We hope to have this product available sometime in late October…stay tuned for information on pricing and availability.