The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Winter Grain Harvest

dabrownman's picture

First Winter Grain Harvest

from the pot graden.   Now I need a thresher:-)



WoodenSpoon's picture

Thats pretty great that you are growing your own, how much do ya think you will be able to get. Watch out talking too much about yer pot garden on the internet or its only a matter of time before the helicopters are circling. :-)


CeciC's picture

omg u serious u even grow your own wheat 

goodness they must taste better than the store brought one

dabrownman's picture

Fresh Lofian, perhap Juergen Kraus, growing some last year or the year before and finally remembered t grow some this winter.  I'll have enough of a crop make some malts / sprouts and maybe a loaf if bread:-)

The spell checker says to change Juergen Kraus to Bergan Krauts. 

dabrownman's picture

worst mistakes I was ever associated with or knew about.  UNESCO was putting together a plan to help poor folks all over the world by giving them a means to grow their own veggies.  What a great idea and goal!  After that,  it went downhill to be the most stupid thing rich people have ever tried to do to help someone else who was poor.  Sadly, USAID also paid for most of this nonsense and I did the drawings showing folks who didn't speak English how to put this together, What Martha Stewart called a 'Salad Table' on her show later - never mentioning that is was a total and complete failure at every level in every possible way.

This salad table had everything.  Wheels to roll it around, a sunshade cover if the sun got too hot for the lettuce, it was made out of wood and went together with basic hand tools and came with the pre-fertilized soil and seeds and only cost $100 to make each one in the USA.  It could be shipped knocked down to make the freight as little as possible.  It as fantastic and I got to go along with the shipment and show poor folks how to make this salad table to feed their families fresh lettuce anywhere in the world.   But there were problems.

These poor people didn't have any hand tools to build these tables.  Thy didn't speak or read English so drawing were worthless.  The growing depth was only 3" and lettuce needs twice that deph to grow well.  The tables were wood and the first thing they did, when you went to sleep, was burn them in their stoves to make food since firewood was so scarce.  They soaked the seeds and put them in their flat breads and fed them to their chickens.  They took  the pre-fertilized dirt and threw it away saying they had plenty of dirt already.    Here is picture

Later we discovered, after this total and complete fiasco, that all we had to do was send stackable plastic pots that were 12" wide x 8" deep. seeds and time release fertilizer at about one 10th the cost and it worked like this.

12 of these will feed a family of 4 during the growing season while a salad table won't grow anything but seedlings that no one can live on -  makes great firewood though.  i keep one salad table around to remind me how stupid we really are when it comes to important things.

So, I am proud if my pot garden.   Damn the helo's - full speed ahead WS :-)

pmccool's picture

Covey's "Seek first to understand" is a principle that eludes a lot of well-intentioned and genuinely compassionate people.  We recently encountered someone who was very intent on involving a large group of people in bagging a large quantity of rice to send to a place on the globe that would have welcomed free food.  Fortunately, some better-informed people were able to point out the obvious: the money to purchase and bag the rice here and then ship it there could instead be used to purchase at least 100 times as much rice there through local suppliers. 

Were people at this end deprived of a "feel good" opportunity?  Possibly.  Were more people helped as a result?  Definitely. 

If we operate solely within our own cultural and economic understanding, we can make some spectacular mistakes.  If we make the effort to understand the real need, and the most effective way(s) to meet that need, we can make a spectacular difference, instead. 

You might well enjoy Paul Theroux' Dark Star Safari and his blistering commentary on NGOs in Africa.


dabrownman's picture

USAID, US government aid to foreign countries is that by law the product must be sourced from the USA  to qualify for the program since these are US tax payers footing the bill.  So even those in the know still get snookered by the law and are forced to spend 10 time more then they would if they could source from much closer suppliers.  So US importers buy Thai Homali Rice in Thailand and ship it to the USA where it is bought from a US company in the USA and sent back to Africa - or even to Thailand. 

Many people have tried to change this law but they don't have the money to buy off US politicians like businesses do - plus many Americans want the goods sourced here even if it costs much much more if they are paying for them.  Can't blame them.   So well intentioned people who know better have to follow the rules.

The biggest problem is that almost the entire amount of aid that actually gets to the target country is controlled there by folks you probably don't want to be partnering with and are  the root cause for their country's problems in the first place.  So what we do is make these crooks rich and ensure they stay in power to rip off there own people, as long as possible in every way possible. 

You don't want to know what % of our own federal dollars spent on local education actually get to the students in the class after layer and layer of administrations, bureaucracies, fraud and abuse at federal, state and local levels these funds must pass through - so these problems can and do exit everywhere.

jims's picture

I've always wanted to grow my own. 

dabrownman's picture

will get your crop in before the birds eat it all like my resident birds seem to be doing.  They like the tomatoes better though.  I kept some short grass growing in the back yard uncut so it set seeds in hopes the birds would like that and leave the garden alone ....but Lucy caught a bird in the grass yesterday and the poor thing was dead before i could get to it.  So it seems I've created a killing field for my apprentice.....

Antilope's picture

but it also makes my ankles itch, because it reminds me of fox tails stuck in my socks. ;-)

Bakingmadtoo's picture

Dabrownman, I like your story. It is a shame it is not told to everyone before they go ahead with schemes to 'help the poor', perhaps far more good would be done.

dabrownman's picture

have their fair share of these schemes but this one was a several million dollar one.  Another USAID one I was associated with was to build a drinking water plant in The Gambia, an African country that is just a few miles wide on each side of the Gambia River that is completely surrounded by Senegal and is real jungle..

Even though the river ran though the country the water was not safe to drink so we designed and built a pre-manufactured, RO plant so people could use the river for drinking water.  We know that the plant arrived at The Gambian port but then it completely disappeared off the dock when it was under armed guard by the Gambian military which turned out to be better than the Sudan military but that is another story.  Many years later the plant was found next to a river in a neighboring country - making soft drinks:-)  More millions gone!

I suppose this is better than shipping a millions tons of grain to India and have it sit in warehouses on the docks for the rats to eat.  Still, there are many more successes than failures and we won't give up trying to to the best we can to help those who need it.

Mebake's picture

Finally! though they look somewhat pale, don't they? shouldn't they be golden yellow?


dabrownman's picture

is what they look like in the sun - golden yellow, but inside, under artificial light, the color fades:-)  The Kamut, spelt, emmer, wheat and rye all are ripening at different times :-)