A trip down to Lake Elkhart
Soka connects people to the flavors of the land. And this starts with Richard and Brenda Wittgreve from Rolling Meadows, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
In the fall of 2022, we once again went to Wisconsin for the sorghum harvest. And while we had a great time, we want to share with you some behind-the-scenes footage from our visit to Richard and Brenda Wittgreve.
Meeting Richard & Brenda Wittgreve
The couple has been producing sorghum as a hobby since 1985 before fully devoting themselves to growing the Simon variety, better adapted to the northern climate. Like most sorghum producers, Richard built his own equipment for the growing and processing of the cane.
A week prior to the harvest, the grain-filled heads are chopped off to allow the stalk to concentrate more sugar and avoid wind loss. Richard then jumps on his Mad Max-like vehicle consisting of a three-row harvester at the front, a press in the middle custom-built from a concrete cement truck to juice the stalks while being harvested. The bright green juice is filtered through an automatic scraper and pumped into a tank at the back of the machine, preserving the freshness and sorrel-like flavors of the cane. They both took time to walk and drive us through the farm, telling us their story and how sorghum became more than a hobby for them. Check it out.