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Forest Grove residents can soon look forward to hyper-local beer, bread and spirits if Tualatin Plains Grain Culture members have their way

COURTESY PHOTO - (left to right) Victoria Lowe, Charlene Murdock, Richard White, Lyle Spiesschaert, Robin Lindsey and Tom Auron harvested a couple acres of Red Fife wheat last month. A few local bakers used it in bread. Those involved with the Tualatin Plains Grains Culture — an organization centered on locally growing heirloom wheat, rye and other grains — harvested their first crop last month.

Forest Grove urban farmers and sustainability educators Charlene Murdock and Richard White have kickstarted the group and pulled in other local foodies invested in homegrown crops. The couple would like to see more growers investing time, money and land into these grains for local use instead of shipping their crops to other states.

Murdock, White and others involved in the grains culture project volunteered to harvest a couple acres of Red Fife Wheat on Forest Grove farmer Lyle Spiesschaert's land in July. Dave and Meredith Ferrier, local bakers who sell bread at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, then used some of the grains to make bread. Eventually, Murdock would like to attract the interest of more bakers, distillers and fermenters, creating a demand for a local grain supply.

There will be a "Celebrate Great Grains" event Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Spiesschaert Farms. The event is free and will include food tastings, hay rides, music and more. For more information, call 503-357-4992. The address of the venue will be released closer to the event.

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