We bid farewell

After several years of heartwarming community collaborations, the Lawns to Loaves project will not be continuing in it’s present form. The Environmental Youth Alliance has been running it “off the side of the desk” for a few years, and though a fabulous project, it isn’t something we will continue in 2014.

pizza ovenHowever, there will still be plenty of ways to stay involved with EYA, with communities of grain growers, and hands-on fun!

We will still have a Fall Frolic in 2014 to enjoy harvest time together, stoke up the oven and bake goodies. Everyone welcome.

Thank-you to all the participants. Your ingenuity and enthusiasm are infectious!

 

Want to participate in community grain-related projects?

Aberthau: Flax= Food + Fiber is back! This year there will be lots of programming around growing wheat, rye, flax and more. Weaving, eating, fun times!

Hands-on gardening in EYA’s Youth Garden. Year round volunteer opportunities, learn to save seeds.

The North Shore’s Edible Garden Project has been known for growing and processing grains.

Want to grow your own grain?

embraceThere are lots of great places to get some very unique heritage varieties, try:

Salt Spring Seeds

Prairie Garden Seeds

EYA’s Urban Seeds

To process your grains for eating, without a mill there are plenty of whole grain wheat recipes. For those looking to make flour, a mill will be necessary. To make a mill more affordable try sharing with friends, or perhaps a local community kitchen has one?

 

heartSupport local grain growers

Urban Grains CSA supported the project with seed donations. Check ‘em out!

Lawns to Loaves wouldn’t have been possible without Chris Hergesheimer, The Flour Peddler. Here is an interview with him:

Pacific Coast Wheat

Even on the wet coast, wheat can thrive. As part of the Small Farm Sessions, there will be a session on growing Pacific Coast Wheat. Steve Jones of Washington State University will be presenting on Sat Feb 1st, as part of Kwantlan Polytechnic University’s day of sessions geared toward small scale farmers and enthusiasts. All kinds of other great sessions, too! 

More info here

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Sweet wheat

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Thanks to the Environmental Youth Alliance staff for hosting this fall frolic.

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The wood fired oven is made from a reclaimed oil drum. Pizzas bake in just a few minutes.

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Ta-da! Glorious whole grain treat.

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Dough from freshly milled flour is formed into yummy creations.

The harvest celebration was a time for growers to pool their Vancouver grown grains. Wheat was processed and milled and presto! Wood fired pizzas were coming out of the oven faster then we could eat them. Thanks to everyone who pitched in and made this event such fun.

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Folks pitch in to separate the grains from the wheat plant.

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Yes, there are machines that do this. Doing it by hand brings new appreciation!

Harvest Celebration

Join in Saturday OCTOBER 5, the Lawns to Loaves harvest celebration! 11am to 3pm at the Eco-Pavilion in the Strathcona Community Garden near Hawks and Prior.

Learn how to process  wheat and follow the grain from a shaft of wheat to a pizza!

We’ll be milling grains and firing up the wood-fired oven to bake the locally grown wheat into tasty snacks.

If you’ve been growing grains this year for Lawns to Loaves please bring them to be pooled and processed at the celebration. If you have several pounds please email lawnstoloaves@gmail.com to arrange prior drop-off and threshing.

Also, join us for a tea walk, nature crafts, and enjoy the spectacular Strathcona Community Garden with the Environmental Youth Alliance.

Truly a hands-on event. All are welcome to this free event, come and learn more about Lawns to Loaves and pitch in the fun.

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Mmm…

When to harvest

One question new wheat growers often have is:

How can you tell if yours are ready for harvest?

The seed head has to be brownish/tan/golden in colour. When you grind a the head of the plant between the palms of your hand, if you get hard little seeds the grain is ready to harvest.

The most reliable test is if you try to chew the seeds they are hard and will crunch when you try to bite them. Be careful not to hurt your teeth!

Harvest on a dry day, and keep them dry. Bundling the whole shaft and seed head is a great way to do it, you can hang these sheaves easily and use the straw later.

Stay tuned for details on threshing and milling the grains with Lawns to Loaves this fall.

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Sweet & Sour

With some help from the Environmental Youth Alliance’s Growing Kids program, high school students are making their own sourdough bread the old-fashioned way. Learning about how to create a sourdough culture is mind-blowing. Did you know there are yeasts just floating around in the air? After making their own unique cultures the Vancouver students baked and ate their unique loaves. Yum!

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The Real Bread Campaign has a some great resources on Sourdough for those who want to go deeper into this ancient bread making technique.

Toast and eggs anyone?

The latest school group to plant wheat seeds and join the Lawns to Loaves team is Spectrum Alternate School in Vancouver. You may have heard about this school recently as they just got CHICKENS. You can learn all about it on their cleverly named  blog – Speggtrum.

Wheat and chickens make a great pair. Just like us, chickens like to eat wheat. Chickens love straw, and they especially love the chaff which often has a few wheat seeds remaining in it for a nice snack. Not to mention how delicious fresh eggs are when paired with bread from freshly milled flour.

Wheat Bike

A bike transports straw and a bag of chaff for some city dwelling chickens after the Lawns to Loaves 2011 harvest party.

How to plant a small wheat patch

If you can grow grass, you can grow grains. Grains are grass after all!

  • To plant the seed, there are two options:

Broadcast - by throwing/spreading seeds in sweeping arcs.

Plant in rows - recommended for beginners. Also makes it easier to weed and play in. Plant each seed by hand.

  • Space seeds no closer then 1 inch apart. (The plants will fill in the gaps and this also keeps them from falling over.)
  • Once you have spread the seed, cover  with a few centimetres of soil or rake the seeds in. Be sure and tamp the soil down to get contact between the seed and the soil.
  • Give it a drink of water.
  • Pat yourself on the back and enjoy the magic unfolding.

A video of Chris the Flour Peddler demonstrating how to plant a small patch.

Become a city wheat grower

There’s still time to get involved with Lawns to Loaves 2013. A rewarding way to learn about food and community. Receive free grains to plant in your yard, balcony, boulevard… wherever you have some space for a mini wheat field. Join in the fun!

All growers pool the wheat to be shared in an autumn harvest celebration.The shared wheat is threshed and milled using a bicycle mill, and baked fresh in a wood fired oven for all to enjoy.  Receive free grains to plant and information on how to grow wheat in your yard this spring.

Email lawnstoloaves@gmail.com to arrange to pick up your free Red Spring Wheat seeds, made possible with support from Jim Grieshaber-Otto.

 

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