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Frey Vineyards

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Derek Dahlen
 
July 26, 2011 | Frey Winery Blog, Sustainability | Derek Dahlen

Wheat between the vines – Year 2

We just completed our second wheat harvest, all of it grown between rows of our organic vineyards. This cereal harvest is a part of our ongoing experimentation with growing local organic food with the wine grapes.

Organic wheat in wine grape vineyard.
Ripe organic wheat ready for harvest between the vines.

This year brought some changes to the wheat program, as Frey Vineyards bought out the other members of the group that originally purchased the mini-combine, while they upgraded their own machine for wheat harvesting in Mendocino County.  Check out their website at Mendocino Grain Project.  Having our own combine now gives us more flexibility for timing the harvest and experimenting with different crops. 

Combine harvesting wheat in wine grape vineyard.
Matthew Frey running the combine in the Frey Potter Valley vineyard.

A repair on the combine allowed us to harvest the wheat more efficiently. It now reaps a much larger percentage of the crop and the grains are coming out cleaner. The grinding stone also got a facelift, as Matthew Frey installed a new motor with variable speed, allowing us to fine-tune the grinding process. 

Harvesting wheat in grape vineyard.
Derek and Matthew harvesting organic wheat from between rows of organic winegrapes.

The crop in our Redwood Valley vineyards weighed in at over one thousand pounds. At our Potter Valley vineyard, which has very fertile soils, we pulled in over 3,000 pounds!  Time to get baking!  We hope to offer samples of the flour to our wine club members.  You can join here! We will also be serving bread from our homegrown wheat at our upcoming midsummer party, Saturday, August 6th. Come and taste the wonder of fresh ground grains!

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