In food and agricultural systems, there will always be a place for measurement, but in knowledge-intensive terrain of agroecological grain production and artisanal baking there must also be space for reincorporating what we feel.
“It’s important that we take care to do things right, not to rush, and to make sure that the power in these new economies is equitable, There is always the danger of re-building the old system and re-commodifying these precious seeds.”
With one stone, Abdellah Bounagua ensured his voice was heard. He was able to guide breeders like Filippo in their development of the varieties that will allow him, and other farmers like him, to prosper while the climate changes. That’s a big splash for such a small stone.
In a state known for its agricultural bounty, commodity crops like wheat are a losing proposition for many farmers. California grows some 700,000 acres of wheat, much of it for livestock. The state is in a “wheat deficit,” according to the California Wheat Commission; in other words, we eat more wheat than we produce. Still, there is a slowly but steadily growing hunger for locally grown and milled whole-grain wheat, a natural extension of the locavore movement. Acme Bread Company owner Steve Sullivan has been interested in sourcing local organic wheat for years, but he hasn’t been able to make it work at his bakery’s scale of production. “We use more organic wheat than is grown in California,” he says.