the winter garden


The first rains of the year are about to arrive so I’m glad I just planted all my winter garden seeds. Usually I don’t grow a winter garden (except a legume cover crop) but this year I felt the urge to have a more active connection to nature throughout the year. I didn’t plant too much–a few varieties of lettuce, chard, and carrots–but my big experiment for the season is trying to grow winter wheat.

My inspiration for planting wheat was an article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about micro wheat growers. I just loved the idea of being able to mill my own flour so the very same day I purchased a 5-lb. bag of white winter wheat seed from Peaceful Valley.

Prairie fantasies aside, I’m actually fairly doubtful about being able to grow a successful crop in my temperate Northern California climate (not enough of a freeze for the requisite dormancy period), but I’m excited to try. At the very minimum it will be a pretty green cover crop that inhibits weeds, but I would be thrilled if I could actually harvest!

One of the things I love most about these gardening experiments is the opportunity for learning. If I’m able to successfully grow this crop there will be so much to discover about how and when to harvest, thresh, mill etc. Looking forward to whatever the process has to teach!

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