We are excited this month to finally get our grain growing project off (and very soon into) the ground. By growing on a small-scale, working with the help of local people to provide them with food that is healthy, digestible, sustainable, and delicious, we’re aiming once again celebrate the Wheat We Eat.
This Sunday 10th February is the TGC monthly volunteer workday, and a great opportunity to pop into the farm (from 10am onwards) and find out more about the project and share your ideas over some tasty soup - and bread, naturally.
In March, we will be sowing just over 1 hectare of wheat - and we’re aiming to fit as many experiments into that relatively small area as we can! We hope this will help us to learn a lot, but if nothing else it will build a diverse environment very different from that of vast monocrop modern wheatfields.
The major experiment, and a lasting one, is to plant four rows of native trees between which our wheat will be sown. The benefits, both environmental and economic, of this method known as ‘agroforestry’ are various enough to warrant a blog post of their own (watch this space…)!
Also look out for another post explaining exactly what we are planting, how and why. We have chosen to plant only ‘heritage’ wheat varieties, delicious, nutrient-rich, soil-enhancing varieties once prevalent but long since outdone by modern wheats bred in the interests of the commodity market rather than health or flavour.
Our methods are also to be experimental, a mix of mechanical and manual, and that’s where you come in! We will host a number of workdays throughout the year, to lighten the work with as many hands as possible. First of all, we are planting trees, one of life’s most joyous activities. Come along on Sunday 10th March to help out!
We are also looking for a small group of enthusiastic local folk to form a citizen science research group around the project. We feel there is much to learn, or relearn, and want to provide a space for that learning to be shared. If you are interested in taking part, email Charlie on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Meanwhile, we’re getting out and about to encourage people to get involved, starting with our local primary schools. If you’ve any ideas of groups that might be interested, get in touch!