Saturday, January 11, 2014

Grain at your Front Door

One of our goals is to grow “local” wheat.    Here’s another way go local:  Plant a Plot of Good Grain!   Right in your back yard.  Or your front yard or side yards.  In pots and window boxes.
Your acreage may not be large, but wheat is decorative landscaping, good for the soil, a nice garden backdrop, attractive along walls and fences.
And it is a good start toward making your yard edible.

Prepare the soil as you would for garden crops.  Plant wheat seeds one and one-half inches deep, about two inches apart.  Experts recommend about 36 seeds per square foot.  Give your plot or pot a thorough watering to get the seed going, then sit back and enjoy watching it grow.  Wheat in the ground needs water only every couple of weeks, and, unlike that old fashioned lawn, you don’t have to mow it.  Wheat will be ready to harvest in 4 to 6 months, but in the meantime, it will put on a nice show.
Do you need a reason to plant wheat? 
You’ll be helping maintain grain diversity.  You can grow very rare varieties of wheat, find out how they do in our climate, taste ancient grains like Emmer or Kamut as a cereal, bowl of grain salad, or a tasty flatbread.  You can supply kernels to a seed exchange.   (One 3’ by 3’ plot, can grow 2500 seeds.)


Where to get seed?
Bob’s Red Mill grains test as lively and viable, and they include Spelt, Kamut, and grains like Amaranth & Quinoa.
Heirloom & ancient wheat seed can be purchased from several suppliers: 
Salt Spring Farm
Blue Bird Farm
Community Grains
Sustainable Seed Company

Rare seed is sold in packets of 300 seeds, enough for ten square feet, or a few large pots.  You might be the first in your neighborhood to harvest Russian Vavilov, Alaskan Spelt, Black Einkorn, or Brazilian Amber. 

India-Jammu one month after planting

For more advise on home-grown wheat cultivation:

So join this grass roots revolution.  Grow a patch of wheat.  Seed savers and seed banks will thank you.  Your 300 seeds could yield two or three pounds.  Working together we can find larger plots where we can grow that into three hundred pounds.  That half ounce of rare wheat seed has been multiplied by almost ten thousand, providing enough for a farmer to plant three acres, and that could yield three tons of that rare wheat seed which cost you, the initiating grower, $3.50.

You can tell your kids and your neighbors that you did your part in restoring one of the great wheats of the world  ...

... and maybe one of the most uniquely flavorful.    

No comments:

Post a Comment