Grain is, for most North Americans, a foreign concept. We drive past fields of wheat, oats or barley and have no concept as to what the grain is, what it could be used for, or how to harvest it. Almost everyone eats bread, pancakes, bagels and a myriad of other products that are made from grains everyday, but almost no one I know could tell you how much land a family needs to grow grain for these products in a year. And even fewer people have actually ever grown grain for their own use.

Creston Grain CSA

The harvest is complete for the Crest Grain CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project for 2008. The grain is being packaged and soon we will have details of delivery and pickup locations. The quantity of grain is somewhere in the range of 60-80 pounds of a mix of red fife wheat, oats, and kamut (polish wheat). Follow the link above for some photos and a video from our Farm Tour in Creston.

Upon delivery, it will be up to each share holder as to what they want to do with the grains. Most people will probably grind it in small batches to retain freshness. We are going to store the buckets in our cold room, with our canning efforts, garlic, potatoes and squash. One tip I’ve heard to improve the storage longetivity is to put some dry ice in the bucket to displace the oxygen present, then seal it up tight. (I haven’t tried this, but it might be worth seeing how it works out).

We also have the grain from our garden which we still need to process, hopefully we’ll get around to this in the next week or so.


A final note, for those who are wondering the answer to the question, “How much land do I need to dedicate to have wheat for my family for a year?” A plot of land 20 x 55 feet should supply the average family of four wheat for a year. Figure that you will need to plant at a rate of 75-90 pounds of seed per acre for wheat.

A for those who are wondering about the photo above, that is what the oats from our garden look like.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.