Building Vashon’s Grain Processing Capacity
Nutritious grains can be grown west of the Cascades. Inspired and supported by WSU’s Bread Lab, several Vashon Island farmers have begun to grow wheat and rye. In fact grain is pretty easy to grow; Erik Steffens planted an acre of Edison wheat (without any fencing or irrigation) which yielded 2400 pounds in the dry hot summer of 2021.
The hard part is harvesting and then properly cleaning, milling and storing the grain. We have a combine on the island for harvesting. Now we want to build the infrastructure that can make the grain commercially usable and available to consumers and bakers locally and regionally.
This project’s purpose is to acquire a grain cleaner, mill and storage containers. This will provide a source of fresh flour to local bakeries, the school district, the food bank and individual consumers. It will also open a pathway for farmers and other land owners to increase land in agricultural production.