This is a beautiful field of Black Beans. Row crops include Beans and Corn varieties.
Row crops are planted with a row planter 30
inches apart, while Flax, Buckwheat and Oats are drilled-in with close rows.
A view from our front porch is enjoyable as the Flax blooms. Also pictured are Black Walnut trees, which are a part of our
farm ‘permaculture’, and produce up to a ton of Black Walnuts each year.
Keith works a full time job, and then works late into the evening on the farm. He can combine until the dew begins to
create dampness in the field. Silhouetted in the sunlight is linen fiber from Flax blowing onto the field, and in the foreground
some of the oldest locust trees on the farm, which honey bees love when in bloom in the spring.
Our farm dog Spartacus is hanging out with Keith, and with “Tina’”, the 806 international tractor that our partner Judy named.
Keith is prepping ground in early March for planting Flax. Flax loves cold, cool weather.
Flax is our favorite crop to grow. Flax is planted in March and blooms begin to appear in late May.
When the blooms drop, pods form with 8 seeds in each pod.
Flax is a 108 day crop, when 90% of the pods dry and turn brown. Once cut, any remaining green pods ripen.
The stem contains linen fiber, so cutting Flax weakens the stem and fiber for easier combining.
Once the Flax is cut, it lays in the field for 3 to 4 days to dry-down weeds and stems, and to weaken the linen fiber.
Keith uses a hay rake to create windrows after the cuttings are dry.
Once the seeds are separated out, the combine’s straw walkers (like a conveyer belt) walk the fiber through the choppers and blow chopped
fiber back onto the field. Birds and animals love the linen fiber for nests and bedding!
Keith is set with shade and cold drinks while cultivating Black and Pinto Beans. During an average year, Keith cultivates 2 times to keep weed
between rows of crops. Row crops for 2013 include Popcorn, Yellow Corn, Black Beans, Pinto Beans and Non-GMO Soybeans.
A close-up view of the 4 row cultivator used in the row crop fields to minimize weed pressure.
A close-up view of a Black Bean plant in bloom. The blooms form pods with 6 to 8 beans in each pod.
Once the plant and pods are dried, Keith combines the rows.
A historic lumber mill built in 1908 is the site for grain cleaning, packaging, and milling.
We use a Clipper Cleaner to separate plant and weed matter from the Grains, Beans and Seeds.
The Clipper Cleaner uses both screens and air to clean crops.
Once the product is cleaned to food grade, we bag in 25 pound bags, sew the bags to seal, and transfer product into our
on-farm cold storage facility
until it’s removed for delivery, or ground to fulfill an order.
The 25 pound bags of product are unitized on skids in a geothermal-cooled cold storage facility.
The cold storage is maintained at 55 degrees to ensure that no mold or pests contaminate our food-grade product.
A one-ton geothermal unit provides cooling, and is located in a small room adjacent to the cold storage facility.
The water output from the geothermal unit is used for gardens and grapes east of our barn.
Anna is pictured in the grinding area where Cornmeal and Corn Grits are “fresh-milled” to order.
We are working with a new partner on a milling equipment upgrade to produce additional value-added ground products.