Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Waves of grain

During the COVID-19 pandemic, baking has become a popular and passionate pastime for countless people sheltering in place. They might not be aware, however, that every time they measure out another cup of flour, they have a chance to support California agriculture.

Hourani wheat grown by Honoré Farm and Mill at HomeFarm in Healdsburg.
(Photo courtesy of 
Honoré Farm and Mill)

For this article in the Bay Area Monitor I interviewed three California farmers who grow wheat for bread making:

  • Fritz Durst of Tule Farms is a fifth-generation farmer with a large grain-growing operation about 90 miles northeast of San Francisco.
  • Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood planted white Sonora wheat flour on land slated for a new nectarine orchard this year. Sonora wheat is a heritage grain with a two-hundred-year history in the Americas.
  • Honoré Farm & Mill also grows organic wheat, but they have a higher calling: to re-connect people to land and community.
I had fun writing this piece and learned a ton. As Elizabeth DeRuff, president and agricultural chaplain of Honoré Farm and Mill told me, "Wheat is an unbelievable topic!"

Right she is!