SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Fifty years ago Western Washington farmers always included small grains in their rotation and the market for local grains was strong. As grain commodity prices fell, more farmers replaced cereal grain with other crops.
Now, consumers are demanding sustainably raised and locally produced grains. Local growers, along with feed and flour distributors, bakers, brewers and distillers, are expanding into the new local grain market. Washington State University Snohomish County Extension, in cooperation with local growers, has developed several demonstration plots to test the feasibility of supplying these new markets.
Join WSU Extension and research faculty, the Snohomish Conservation District, and Chinook Farms for an Organic Grain Field Day on Wednesday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 pm at Chinook Farms in Snohomish.
The field day will feature an on-farm demonstration of organic wheat, rye and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) production. Fall and spring planted varieties will be presented along with a discussion of harvesting machinery and techniques.
WSU wheat breeder Steve Jones and Extension educator Andrew Corbin will discuss basic principles such as first-time planting, soil preparation, fertility, protein content, and disease issues. Members of the WSU Small Grains Breeding Program research team, cooperating growers with test plots on other farms, and seed industry representatives will also be available.
Challenges for successful western Washington grain production that also will be discussed include cleaning, drying, storage, transportation, and milling — all infrastructure needs that haven’t been available in this region since the 1970s.
Chinook Farms is a 132-acre certified organic grain and vegetable farm located at 10601 Elliott Road, Snohomish, about 1.5 miles east of SR 9 in the Snohomish Valley.
The cost is $20 per person in advance, or ($25 on the day of event, and includes light refreshments. To register, visit Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/123826 or contact Karie Christensen at 425-357-6039 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For more information on the Field Day, contact Andrew Corbin, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 425-357-6012.