Do you have a sunny square metre or more of garden that you could use to grow a patch of heritage wheat this season?
I’m seeking twenty or so ‘patchwork wheat farmers’ across Dunbar and District to join me in this participatory research project. The eventual aim is to develop a locally adapted ‘landrace’ of wheat that is genetically diverse, resilient, nutritious and adapted to organic growing in this part of Scotland. And eventually to use this to re-establish a local supply chain linking local growers, local millers, local bakers and local people in a sustainable and equitable flour and bread supply.
Using seed provided by Scotland the Bread as part of their Soil to Slice project, a small group of us have been growing small patches of wheat using a mix of three old Swedish wheat varieties over the past two years. This year we’ve been able to further diversify the mix we are sowing by adding in some of the ‘spring landrace’ heritage wheat being grown at Balcaskie Farm in Fife which is derived from a wider mix of Swedish and Danish landraces and populations.
After harvest, we will select a small amount of the seed to save for next year. The remainder will be threshed, cleaned and milled into flour so that we can bake and share bread together.
If you are interested to take part in this project, please get in touch (philipATsustainingdunbar.org) as soon as possible as seed needs to be sown as soon as possible, and not later than the end of April.
To delve deeper into why we should be concerned about the wheat that goes into the bread we eat, this award winning podcast series CEREAL from Farmerama Radio is a great place to start.