It’s harvest time. While the market gardeners have been tirelessly gathering produce to fill our veg boxes, we’ve also turned our attention to our first crop of wheat. Join us at the Blackhaugh Farm open day this Sunday 29th, 11am-3pm, to find out more about the Wheat We Eat project. All welcome - there will be activities for all the family and lots of yummy farm-grown food for lunch by donation.
Members of the Scottish Scything Club joined our September workday and made a start cutting the grain, the long straw of the heritage varieties falling into neat piles to be bound into sheaves and then left in ‘stooks’ in the field to fully ripen, and to dry ready for processing. Even if it is not the most obviously efficient method, it was surprisingly quick and no fossil fuels were used. It was also a truly special and meaningful community activity, sharing songs and food in the field.
And there’s another opportunity! At Sunday's open day we will be thrashing the grain from the straw, stone-grinding it into wholemeal flour and baking our first homegrown pizzas in the pizza oven, newly-built with the help of pupils from Blairgowrie High School.
It has been an extraordinary learning experience watching the grain develop. Against convention, we sowed a diverse mixture (see April blog post) that has thrived against the weeds and grown into a healthy, abundant crop, and a habitat for birds and insects. The proof is in the eating, of course, and in the health of the crop year on year but we are confident that our experiments into small-scale, agroecological cereal production for the local community are showing signs of success.