2019 Wheat & Local Rye Koji

Homegrown Grains

It was a our second harvest of wheat this year. In addition to emmer and einkorn we grew an Italian durum, a French Red called Rouge Bordeoux, a specially bred Ukrainian called Banatka, and our flagship wheat which is also Ukranian called Halychanka.

Halychanka, a Ukrainian Red

Einkorn, grown in a front yard in middle of Pittsburgh.

Part of the grain harvest. Everything was cut down using a hand scythe.

All of the grain was processed by hand. After additional drying, the threshing was done through pounding with wood blocks, then winnowed with the help of a fan.

We’re finally starting to get usable amounts. Here is a naturally leavened bagel made with the Halychanka.

The rye situation is somewhat different. I’ve begun setting it aside specifically for growing seed koji for the Culture Library. While the goal of the Library is to be perpetuating cultures in our own local environment, why not take it one step further and grow it out on a local grain stock as well.

So far the local rye koji has gone through about a half dozen generations. Hopefully after the New Year we’ll have grown out a large enough batch to offer in the Culture Library.