My balcony will almost certainly not look like this…Sometimes I get a stupid idea in my head, and it just won’t shift. This is one of those ideas, and I’m hoping you’ll join me on the journey from idiocy to “oh my god this might just work”.
The idea – I’m going to grow my own loaf of bread.
Now in my day job I sometimes have a little to do with the financial markets. I occasionally write commentary on the wheat and grain markets, and around about this time of year all things start to focus on the autumn wheat crop and its germination levels. Yes, I know, it’s not super interesting but it pays the bills.
But that got me thinking, wheat is going in the ground pretty soon and there is absolutely nothing stopping me growing some too. Okay, sure, my growing space is a rooftop terrace in Geneva, but heck, that hasn’t stopped me in the past.
Essentially, I began thinking about whether I could grow enough wheat to mill into flour to make a loaf of bread.
Well, before I even tackle the fact that I don’t know how to make bread or mill flour for that matter, I had to work out one thing… where do I get wheat seeds from?
The first stop on a ridiculous quest like this should almost always be Wikipedia. Sure, your teachers at school may have told you to never cite it in an essay, but they also never informed you that when you are a grown-up it is going to be your first stop for almost any internet search, second only to Google.
The Internet is Brilliant
The Internet is Brilliant
Checking in on the Wikipedia page about Flour, I learnt that I can make it from maize, rye and spelt but wheat is the superior grain. Also knowing a little about seeds, I know I want a non-GMO and organic seed, but I mean who doesn’t?!
So where does one go to buy such things? Well, you can get wheat seeds on a variety of sites, but I normally would go to somewhere like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The unfortunate side to going with an heirloom seed is that, well, the yield is pretty low. But in this instance, ethics overtake growing expectations, and after all, I only need enough for a loaf of bread right?
Orders Are Placed
So, a few days after thinking up this rather stupid idea, I’ve placed my order with Baker Creek. All things being well I should receive a package (that hopefully clears customs) in the next few weeks. Inside that package will be two different types of wheat; Emmer Wheat, which is an ancient variety, as well as Cham 2, bread wheat from Syria.
For now, there isn’t much that can be done, except maybe a little swotting up on bread making and a lot of soil prep. I’ll keep you posted on both…
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