Fifteen local growers plus Innerwick, Stenton and East Linton primary schools took part in this year’s wheat growing project -part of Scotland the Bread’s ‘Soil to Slice‘ project. This is an educational and awareness raising project that has the eventual aim of developing a locally adapted ‘landrace’ of wheat that is genetically diverse, resilient, nutritious and adapted to organic growing in this part of Scotland, and to support re-establishing a local supply chain linking local growers, local millers, local bakers and local people in a sustainable and equitable flour and bread supply. More here.
There are many missing links in this supply chain at the moment, one of which is the lack of small scale harvesting and processing equipment. Cutting a small area is easy enough but threshing the grain from the ears and separating the wheat from the chaff is time consuming and labour intensive when done by hand. We were fortunate to be able to borrow a micro-scale thresher (designed for sampling crops in the field) and seed-cleaner from Scotland the Bread and a dozen or so of us recently got together for an enjoyable session to process this year’s harvest. A small, table-top mill was subsequently used to mill much of this into 100% wholemeal flour.
We selected some grain from a variety of the best looking and best filled heads of wheat to use for seed for next year’s crop. Anyone who is interested to get involved in next year’s project and to grow a square metre or two (or more) of wheat in their garden next season is welcome to get in touch (philipATsustainingdunbar.org) to find out more.