The 2017 Organic Soybean Harvest

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Posted: November 19, 2017

A Peek into a Remarkable Process

Fall is a really exciting time at SoyBoy because it’s the season for harvesting the organic soybeans that go into our tempeh and tofu! This year, we headed out to Rosedale Farm in North Rose, NY, to see our buddy, organic farmer James Taylor, during the annual soybean harvest. Jim has been growing organic soybeans in Upstate New York for more than 35 years, so he’s the perfect guide to the harvesting process.

For organic farmers like Jim, the soybean harvest is serious business.

Sourcing Organic Soybeans in Upstate New York

We love working with local organic farmers to procure the raw materials for our tofu and tempeh products. This year, we’ll be buying 500,000 pounds of organic soybeans from farms like Rosedale and Thorpe’s Organic Farm in East Aurora, New York. While we were at Rosedale, Joel from Thorpe’s happened to be making a delivery. It’s a small world, organic farming.

A surprise visit from our friends at Thorpe’s.

The harvest operation happens just once a year, sometime during the first three weeks of October.

This massive combine cuts 7 rows at a time.

Jim took us right out into the field, where the combine was already hard at work. The process starts with the harvesting combine, which cuts down the soybean plants and separates out the beans. To harvest this one field took about an hour and a half.

Not all soy fields can be this pretty. Despite the groomed appearance of these soy fields, they are in fact organic. They’re just very meticulously tended.

The combine strips out the soybeans and discards the rest of the plant matter. Once a full load of beans has been gathered, they’re transferred to a separate rig for cleaning.

The soybeans are fed into a screen unit which cleans them of vegetation. Then they make their way onto a shaker. Once all the debris has been removed, the soybeans get carried up into the silo for storage.

This impressive equipment has the power to automate an incredibly labor-intensive process. It’s enough to make even the most traditional farmer thankful for modern technology.

A Delicious Future

After the harvest is complete, SoyBoy purchases half a million pounds of soybeans from various local (and sometimes Canadian) farms which are delivered to our Rochester headquarters. There, our team uses our modern tofu-making process to turn them into protein-packed blocks of tofu. Some, of course, get infused with a special tempeh culture and transformed into organic soy or 5-grain tempeh. Either way, the results are delicious!

Have a Question?

If you have a specific question about our sourcing or the organic soybean harvest, send it our way. Just use the form on our FAQ page.