Growing wheat in Windmill Gardens
This April, members of Brixton Windmill’s park and gardening volunteers planted heritage wheat in the terraced garden next to Brixton Windmill. It is now growing well and we look forward to harvesting it in late summer.
We first planted heritage wheat in the park in 2012 and since then we have tried to have a small area where heritage wheat is growing so that school children and other visitors to the windmill can see the process of producing flour. From planting the wheat and nurturing it through the growing season to harvesting and finally threshing and winnowing to get the grain that is milled into nutritious wholemeal flour.
All varieties of heritage wheat grow much taller than the modern varieties introduced after WWII and grown across the world today.
Our 2022 wheat patch has been planted with the ‘landrace’ English April Bearded, a variety last commonly cultivated during the 19th Century. A ‘landrace’ is a genetically diverse mix traditionally planted by farmers in a specific area.
We are indebted to Brockwell Bake who supplied us with the seed and have guided us through the process of growing wheat in Windmill Gardens over a number of years.
If you come to the Brixton Windmill Harvest Festival on Sunday September 25th you will be able to learn more about the history of growing wheat across the world, buy wholemeal stoneground Brixton Flour and sample various locally baked artisan breads. Put the date in your diary!