5-6 days prior to these pictures being taken, this field was full, lush, and green. Now, after the pea plants have been cut, placed in rows, and dried by our Oregon sun, they are ready to be put through the combine to separate the chaff from the seeds.
Owyhee Produce partners with farms in the mid west to provide them with the pea seeds they need to grow peas in their fields. Our climate is not conducive to growing peas, and the midwest doesn’t have a climate that can grow great seeds. Each area has been able to use their climate to the best of its ability by partnering together for the best possible result.
Before running the combine over the field, the moisture level is checked using the above canister to make sure the seeds have a moisture content under 14%. Anything over 14% will lead to the seeds molding during transportation.
As the combine runs over each row, everything is picked up by the rotating feeder at the front. As soon as the chaff and seeds enter the machine, they begin a process of separation. The rotating, back and forth motion within the combine shakes the chaff off of the seed. The lightweight chaff is pushed over the top and out the back of the machine, while the heavier seeds are kept and compiled behind the cab.
After making a full run and filling the combine, the seeds are transferred to a truck in the field. That truck is taken to our facilities and the product is put in bins to be shipped and stored in Ontario. The seeds go through a super fine cleaning and two tests, one for germination and one for purity. Its imperative that the seeds are able to reproduce a fresh pea variety, and that the group of seeds are of one single variety. The seeds will then be re-grown and harvested as fresh peas next season.