It is raining again.

Whereas parts of this country are having to adapt to drier drought like kinds of weather, and yet others have seas taking their roads and front porches, we seem to be getting wetter. The climate changes are moving fast – we need to be wide awake to keep up.

If they were able to change parts of the Midwest out of commercial inedible corn and beans dependent on inclement political overseas markets, and into actual food crops suited to short wet summers, we could feed a lot of America. Help take the load off California and it’s water problems.

They have bred a wheat that is suited to the Midwest and its damp short growing period. Specifically for the organic market. The University of Illinois has multiple trials going with wheat. We are growing one of the new wheats this year – Erisman.

Being on both sides of the wheat industry with the farm and The Mill and also on the sidelines of the development of new wheats to suit the changing climate makes me feel very fulfilled.

Until our wheat is ready we bought in some and milled it last week. Erisman is lower in protein and makes a really nice pastry flour. I will have it in small bags, this week.

We also have a couple of ancient wheats coming online soon – red fife, emmer, and another one with a name I have forgotten- oh – einkorn. But these are being grown in areas best suited to their growing characteristics on sister farms.

I look forward to bringing some of this knowledge home to New Zealand. My internet search tells me we have a dirth of whole kernel flour mills being such a small mountainous country. I will be in the South Island in January so I am going to get into the McKenzie Country and see what I can find.

Harlequin Pig.

His reflection in the water is so poignant.

Ok! So today I am going to pick the melons in the number two pig garden then shift the fence and let Poppy’s Six into their new food field. I hope the melons are ready as they have run out of time.

The meat chickens are living under a big tarpaulin, the big pigs are taking advantage of all the rain and digging over their field. We are collecting around ten duck eggs a day – at least three or four a day are small, from the new flock. So I am hoping that number continues to grow. Lots of new chicken eggs- we get three and a half dozen a day plus plenty of little pullets eggs from them too. I popped the rainbow chickens in with the big group last night so they can learn where to lay their eggs. And be safe. They are such dears.

The chickens and ducks really are good little money earners being a weekly hundred dollars in the summer and the ducks eat so little grain in this weather, they are particularly efficient.

Time for me to get farming. I work five and a half days a week. I just remembered that my Dad always worked five and a half days. Hmm.

I like the Mill Room when it is Mill Room when it is nice and quiet.

Oh – almost forgot. The Big Boss has acquired a Steel Cut Oats Machine! Just as soon as we build a food safe room for it we will begin our foray into Oats. Oats grow really well around here.

Stand by for steel cut oats in small bags.

I really must get a Mill Newsletter out soon. Everything moves so fast! Are you on that list?

OK. Pig time. I need to shift those electric fences.

Talk soon



  1. Are they watermelons, or the other kind? If watermelons and they aren’t quite ready, you could make watermelon rind pickles, which are delish with good bread and a nice strong cheese.

  2. i hope those volunteer melons are wonderful! There is something about volunteer anything in a plant that makes it more beautiful to me. I guess I like to see that these carefully cultivated varieties we have made still have the ability to go feral.

  3. Today is the Southern hemisphere spring equinox, and already our temps are over 30C and no rain. I am so envious of those rain puddles. Climate change here is turning is into a dessert. I am seriously considering covering my lawn area with gravel substitute. Laura

  4. I imagine Baker Pete will be excited to see you’re going to be growing Red Fife (which was developed a very short distance away from here: )
    “Lang Pioneer Village (near Keene, Ontario) celebrates Red Fife Wheat and David & Jane Fife’s story”

  5. The teeth on that pig are a sight to behold! 🤣🤣🤣 On another subject, we got two chickens to keep the pig company, however- and although they have a coop- she’s managed to get them to sleep with her, so she gets the eggs. Help!

  6. you haven’t mentioned about the duck eggs yet. have they hatched or is she still waiting?

    • Oh I am sorry. As they went rotten she pushed them out of the nest and in the end there were no eggs left in the nest so she heaved herself off and rejoined her flock. It was rather odd really but there you are.

  7. You are having so much rain and we are having none. After a while we begin to think it will never rain again. There is a little rain in the forecast for tomorrow and it is the talk of the town! We shall see…

  8. We’re all having to adapt in different ways at different times to climate change, and going back to heirloom and targetted growing of crop varieties suited to microclimates makes much better sense than monoculture.

  9. We have gotten a couple of inches of rain today and it just started in again. Hopefully it’s bringing in more fall like weather, the last week had been positively tropical! I have a recipe for dutch oven emmer bread with a poolish. It’s really tasty if a bit putzy to make.

  10. Glad the Mill Room is providing knowledge for you and information for us whilst giving you a leg ‘up financially ! We also are learning Am glad your summer foray to come may have auxiliary purposes . . . .interesting . . Rain = a painful situation here with two days of showers in seven months where I live . . . so many farmers walking off properties, so many committing suicides which could have been prevented . . ..

      • Celi – quite seriously SO many have been and are . . . so, ad hoc, tho’ I am such a proud Australian, the fact that your daily news at the moment sees our current PM standing alongside his new ‘best friend’ in Ohio and elsewhere rather than take part of UN Climate Congress is absolutely pitiful – try to see what Sir David Attenborough, still SO able at 93, has to say about us this our morning . . . . so devastatingly true . . . . . .

  11. Looks like we need to brush some teeth in addition to the hoof-dicures! Pink polish next time?

  12. Dogs always choose puddle over bowl – wonder if it’s quiet knowledge of better with natural minerals and rain ingredients or a snub of “processed” containers/man made bowls with who knows what is leaking/flaking into the water? Dogs know a lot.
    Anyway, love the wheats; ancient and the total other end of new wheats. It is encouraging. (Really don’t like /approve of food sources being used for fuel when so many are hungry, A bit of shift in thinking is needed as you say)

  13. This (“actual food crops suited to short wet summers. . could feed a lot of America”) is an eye-opener.for me– city guy, born and bred but often wishing not.. Maybe I could start with baking bread. I need to get on that list, but wondering: does the newsletter provide encouragement for beginners inspired by your farm-and-home life.

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: