The past few years have seen a surge in interest in historical, landrace and heirloom grains from farmers, bakers, chefs, brewers, and distillers. What makes these old-school crops so special? What market opportunities do they offer? This workshop will look at the pros and cons of these unusual grain varieties from several perspectives – agronomic, ecologic, economic, and gastronomic. Workshop participants will come away with a better understanding of how traditional grain varieties promote sustainable farming systems; what it takes to grow and sell them; and ideas for supplying the enthusiastic and growing demand for traditional grains.
Crops, Seed, Tools, & Technology
E | 1:30 pm
Viriditas Farm and Fox Fibre
National Young Farmers Coalition, Farmer Mai
Mai Nguyen grows heirloom grains and vegetables in Northern California using a no-till, dry-farming method with draft horses – all in the midst of a historic drought! Having studied climate research in college, Mai got interested in the two big issues we face as a global society: climate change and social inequality. Aside from growing organic heritage grains and Southeast Asian crops under the Farmer Mai label, she assists other small-scale grain farmers across California to create regional grain hubs.