Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Heritage Wheat Seminar

It's the busy time of year in the fields but I thought I'd just put out a post for any New England farmers who might be interested in this weekend's (August 23-24, 2009) Heritage Wheat Seminar sponsored by NESARE. One day is in Vermont and the next in Maine, go to for more details.

1 comment:

M Ajamian & said...

I am going to try to do blog posts here and at other sites where we are part of an on-line community around regional food security and business.

Is that okay with you all? I'd like to see a network of grain and seed growers come together. There's a lot going on out there, especially in the northeast (where rice is being trialed in Vermont) and northwest.How can we all get together and communicate?

For a start, here's the latest from the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative.

Since we returned from a Permaculture Certification course on August 31, we've been busy getting ready for harvest and the opening of Shagbark Seed & Mill Co. We've been pushing to get our seed cleaner and mill in place in early October and equipment in place to harvest crops in the coming weeks.

Last Sunday we hosted an OEFFA farm tour at Green Edge and a mill painting party at the facility we will create at ACEnet. We served lots of popped amaranth, hummus, and buckwheat/amaranth chapatis. At the farm, the 20 or so farmers and community members who came from near and far saw our amaranth, buckwheat, and black beans and millet. It's no surprise that millet and sunflower are the top bird foods, both were hit hard by bird predation. The sunflower was wiped out, but a few rows of millet survived. We had also planted two kinds of beans-adzuki, known for their nutrition/protein and black turtle beans, a favorite in mexican cooking. Well, the deer recognized the adzuki's superiority and mowed it down, leaving the black beans stand right beside it untouched.

A few farmers were interested in growing crops next year, getting some of what they are growing processed at the mill, and seemed ready to spread the word to others. Food security is on the horizon.

With more than 10 volunteers at the painting party on Tuesday night, the work went quickly AND we had fun.

Next we drive a few hundred miles north to pick up two pull-behind Allis Chalmer combines, I think a 66 and a 72. Together they weigh close to four tons.

Yesterday Brandon went first to Marietta to pick up a permit that took hours of phone investigation to set up, then to Parkersburg, to pick up lots of heavy chain, ratchet binders, and come-alongs, then home to pick up the big diesel we bought into with Piper, to drive to Meigs County to Paul Niedhart's to pick up six eight ft 6x6s that we'll use to straddle the combine axles across since their wheel base is wider than our trailer. We then drove out to Green Edge to attach the trailer ( 28 ft two axle, 12,000 lb load capacity) to the truck, load the Green Edge skidder, and practice driving with a load before we head north on Sunday for the real thing.

I went on the lumber run and the Green Edge adventure. It was late, nearly 8, when we got there. I moved a truck out of the way and helped B guide the trailer to the spot where the skidder would get on the bed, and otherwise took photos of the clouds just after sun set and watched as Brandon and Kip and Greg (Kip's brother), pulled new gleaming chain through the frame of the skidder and attached its hooks to the iron trim on the trailer. Then, after watching the ratchet wrap the chain around the binder, they figured out how to ratchet it down by first loosening the bolt on the ratchet. It was already dark. I went up to help with dinner while Brandon and Kip went on the test run. When we finished dinner around 10, we still had another few hours of work but I think we are ready for the trip north. More to follow.