Note from Farmer Al: January 7, 2019
Dear CSA Members,
All of us here at Frog Hollow Farm are very excited about successfully planting our 2019 crop of wheat. For us, it’s a fulfillment of our dream to plant Sonora Wheat.
As you will learn in this week’s Farm Focus blog, Sonora Wheat is perhaps the oldest variety of wheat grown in California. For me, this variety has a meaningful history and tradition, for it was once planted here in East Contra Costa County for as far as the eye could see in every direction. California was, at one time, the leading wheat growing region in North America and was even traded on the London International Wheat Exchange.
I was first introduced to Sonora wheat by Monica Spiller who is one of the most knowledgeable persons on wheat in the Bay Area. She lives on the Peninsula (so she’s probably a neighbor of many of our CSA members), has a delightful British accent, and has a GREAT website called “The Whole Grain Connection.” I highly recommend a visit to her website for those of you who are interested in Pasta, Bread, Flour Tortillas, Pastry and all things wheat, especially the varying qualities and health benefits of heirloom and landrace varieties. Sonora is her favorite.
Mother nature and luck were with us in the planting of this crop. The last half of December was dry enough to enable us to “work the soil” with a springtooth cultivator. The springtooth lightly cultivates only the top two or three inches of the soil, killing any weeds that have germinated and creating a new soft loose soil to plant into. So we planted the 20 acres on Friday 1/4/2019 and it began raining Saturday 1/5/18. A farmer’s dream scenario!
Happy New Year!