Planting Wheat for the first time at Bayside/MLK Academy in Marin City

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The Bayside/MLK Academy in Marin City has an incredible garden thanks to the Milagro Foundation and Growing Great. Last week, just before the rains, I led a group from the after-school program.  We planted White Sonora Wheat.  It's the first time wheat has been planted at MLK. I chose Sonora because it's well suited to growing in California and it's an heirloom - the oldest known variety grown in North America according to Slow Food.  It also has superb flavor and requires very little irrigation, if any.  At 3:00pm, when we first gathered with the 15 or so children for snack and discussion, the fact that I was on crutches was way more interesting to most of the kids than hearing about wheat.  But once everyone got a turn on my crutches and we headed into the garden, their attention became mostly focused and engaged. The children prepared the seed bed.  Then we asked them to wish the seeds well as they put them in the ground.  They took this job seriously and spent time blessing their seeds with words of encouragement .

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We marveled at the abundance of nature - each seed planted will produce several heads with 40- 50 kernels on each head.  That's a pretty darn good return rate!  Afterwards, they raked soil over their seeds, then, we got to the part they thought was super fun - laying down some old boards and running across them to promote good soil-to-seed contact.  We'll be studying the progress through harvest this summer and hopefully, if all goes well, milling and baking in the fall. Stay turned to watch our progress...

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