From the Field—May Newsletter

By Mike Moran on April 29, 2014

Spring is a great time on the farm, and in the city for that matter. New life returns, the air is softer, and optimism abounds. As Shepherd’s Grain moves firmly into its second decade as a company, there are opportunities to pursue and plenty to be thankful for.

Spring is in the Air

Spring is a great time on the farm, and in the city for that matter. New life returns, the air is softer, and optimism abounds. As Shepherd’s Grain moves firmly into its second decade as a company, there are opportunities to pursue and plenty to be thankful for. The greatest of which is you, the supporters and customers of Shepherd’s Grain. It is your commitment to supporting our family of growers and their thoughtful stewardship of the land that will ensure the long term viability of our farms and their continued dedication to producing the highest quality and sustainably produced foods possible.

I am also grateful personally to be joining Shepherd’s Grain at this time of new life emerging. I am joining a great team, and in many ways my new role is to free up Fred and Karl to continue to pursue the innovation and continuous improvement that have come to define Columbia Plateau Producers and Shepherd’s Grain. Karl will be working closely with Jeremy Bunch, our Producer Liaison, as we work to bring the full bounty of our grower’s rotations to market, while Fred advances the scientific research of rhizosphere ecology, and our understanding of the nutritional and ecological benefits of sustainable agriculture.

We are also introducing a new format to the newsletter and some new features. Each month we will highlight one of our growers, as well as a partner using our flour in their products. Additionally, we will include information and links to resources related to sustainable agriculture and the work being done to continuously improve the health of the soil, and the food that we grow. Keeping you informed is a key value in our goal to connect people more closely to their food and the farmers that raise it.

Thank you for your continued support,

Mike Moran, General Manager

Karl’s Rotation

From the beginning of Shepherd’s Grain, there has been a goal to grow a marketplace for rotational crops. Diversity is one of the cornerstones for no-till agriculture and as nature demonstrates, necessary for the vitality of all plant life. After 11 years of brand development and building trust within the food community, we are ready to promote that essential element of sustainable agriculture. A weed in a single species crop is really just a plant out of place and in nature’s eye, it is the biological diversity needed to feed the rhizosphere community.

A truly sustainable production system allows and encourages the opportunity to grow a wide range of small seeded grains and broadleaf crops in rotation. That production will soon become part of the Shepherd’s Grain array of products. One significant feature of these crops is the number of established market channels and emerging demand they are aligned with. My next exciting challenge is to create the pathway for production, processing, and marketing these products. The saga begins.

-Karl

Focus on the Soil

John Aeschliman has been in no-till farming since the 1970’s. With that many years focused on the health of the soil, his farm is a testament to the long term benefits of diverse rotations, careful stewardship, and continuous improvement. John is our featured grower this month. Click here to thank John for the work he does.

If you want to learn more about how no-till improves soil health, click on the video below.