When the glaciers receded and the climate stabilized about 10,000 years ago, people were able to start farming. Foods that can be stored, notably grains, allowed for people to take a break from the constant hunting and gathering that had defined their lives. With stored food, division of labor was possible. Cities, a priestly class, a ruling class, bureaucrats, artists were all possible.
At Loganita, we planted a winter wheat in the fall of 2015. It was a strain developed by Dr. Steve Jones, of The Bread Lab at WSU. Dr. Jones cultivates over 40,000 varieties of wheat on test plots. The one he thought would do best on Lummi Island is a cross developed by WSU of a French variety and one developed at Oregon State University.
Mary von Krusenstiern tended to the wheat as it grew. No chemicals were used, as all farming done at Loganita is bio-intensive. When harvest time came, Steve Jones appeared with a combine, which was loaded on to the Lummi Island ferry. Steve Lyon and Kim Binczewski from The Bread Lab and Chef Blaine Wetzel, who will use some of the wheat in his dinners at The Willows Inn, showed up to help out.
The Bread Lab took the harvested wheat berries, and threshed and cleaned them. About 350 pounds of wheat berries were then delivered to Loganita. Steve McMinn, whose interest in wheat is what started this project, has since been grinding the wheat into flour using his 93 year old mother’s mill. The berries are stone ground, and flour contains all parts of the berry, making it both flavorful and nutritious.