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Producer Spotlight : Sandhill Wild Rice

Sustainably farmed single-origin native superfood!

sandhill wild rice

Back in 1951 a 12-year-old boy named Barry Swenson went on a fishing trip with his grandfather and fell in love with the surrounding Modoc County beneath the Warner Mountain Range. He made up his mind to someday own some of that incredible land. Fast forward to 1996, Barry achieved his childhood dream and acquired 26 acres, and started his farm. Today the farm has grown to over 55,000 acres and is home to both crops and cattle. A multi-generational family farm and ranch, Alturas Ranches is beautifully situated in Northern California, surrounded by preserved wildlife habitats.

The farm primarily grows Alfalfa, Wild Rice, and Wheat. It is not unusual to see cows milling about after harvest time. The cattle sustainably feasts on grasses and rice hulls littered about the farm after harvest. Their main offering is an incredible wild rice they call Sandhill Wild Rice.

Sandhill Wild Rice is named for the migratory Sandhill Cranes which live and thrive in the farm’s rice paddies. The crane in Chinese and Japanese culture is a symbol of longevity, peace, and good fortune: all of which are promoted through the consumption of this native California superfood.

The wild rice is planted in Spring and harvested in Summer and early Fall by their small yet mighty crew. Their rice is a single-origin product and is guaranteed to be of premium quality and consistent from batch to batch. Their wild rice is not an actual rice but the seed of a semi-aquatic grass that’s native to North America. The black grains are long and slender, and cook to a chewy texture with a pronounced nutty, earthy flavor. It can be used as a substitute for white rice, brown rice, or steel cuts oats with more nutrients.

They truly focus on the health and sustainability of the land. They have established, converted, and continue to develop fields of conventionally farmed ground to organic land. They believe in and see the fruit of our labor through sustainable farming practices and know that their farming and ranching practices can work together to grow the microbiology in their soils and thus increase the nutrient density of the crops cultivated for their customers.

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