Farm Buddy and I got connected with the Organic Growers Research and Information-Sharing Network (OGRIN.org). They are working to help re-establish small farms in the Northeast. From their website:
is a network of growers, millers and other grain processors, bakers, chefs, and consumers in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey who are working to support the production of wheat and other food grains in the Northeast. In the effort to make our regional food system more sustainable by supplying locally grown products to consumers, locally grown grains have been lacking....Not anymore!
Over the past eight years, our on-farm research has shown that we can grow high quality grain in our region, including hard red bread wheat, heritage wheat, and the ancient grains spelt, emmer, and einkorn. Each year we have seen an increase in the number of grain growers and processors in our region.
Given that I have tillable land that I have spent the past 10 years working hard to restore and that I need to find a way to continue supporting myself, my dog and my herd, I have decided to take the plunge and try to grow a marketable crop. What better ways are there to make a living than art and farming right? RIGHT????
Seeing as I also have Celiac Disease, I don't want to grow the more profitable crops like wheat, emmer and spelt so I am going to focus on gluten free ancient grains. The goal is to grow, process and sell organic, TRULY gluten-free grains that never become cross-contaminated during shipping and processing (which is a HUGE problem for Celiacs) directly from my farm to the consumer.
I also want to continue improving my land, which means continuing to give back to it rather than just always taking nutrients and fertility away from it, which is what modern farming practices do. To that end, once the soil is plowed and ready to seed, I will be planting a cover crop of peas and red clover. This crop is for the land. In the Spring, I will plant hulless oats, which are good for the soil and will (hopefully) produce a crop that I can sell.
This falls into the category of micro-entrepreneur farming. Although, this 1.5-2 acres of plowed ground feels like a huge, vast endeavor from my window....
Here's to a new venture, doing things the old-fashioned way and reinventing the wheel - again.
The Border Collie certainly has his doubts.