Wilken grow corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, pumpkins, black beans, alfalfa, popcorn and seed corn on the 2,370 acres, with 1,900 acres certified organic, plus 370 in second-year transition to organic and 100 in the first year. The Wilkens have added nearly 1,000 acres since 2008.
In some years, the corn may be popcorn, seed corn or food-grade corn, and the beans may be black turtle beans or clear-hilum soybeans for tofu or soy milk.
Wheat may be spring or fall planted, and soft or hard. Pumpkins, alfalfa, oats and ancient grains such as Emmer and Einkorn fill out the mix of crops.
Wilken points out that diverse cropping is like a diverse portfolio of investments. Even if it’s a bad year for one or two crops, you’ll still have other crops that do well. For better financial, personal and soil health, “I encourage others to look into the possibility of changing to organic,” Harold said, “or at least diversifying.”