Most of the food grown at Black Cat Farm is the result of lots of experimentation and trial runs. Growing some things, like spinach, is fairly straightforward. Plant it (and take care of it) and it produces green leafy deliciousness. Other things, like arthichokes, remain in the experiment phase more than 5 years after the first stab at growing them. We had our best artichoke crop ever in the summer of 2016 (it would have led to hundreds of globes), but a pig got into the archichoke field and inhaled half of the crop.
We began growing millet and buckwheat last year, and the year before raised corn meant for polenta. But this year, it’s Grain Palooza. Wheat. Emmer. Farro. Barley, Buckwheat. Amaranth. Millet. Oats. Spelt.
To help with the harvest — as you can imagine collecting wheat from the fields is nothing like plucking tomatoes — we bought a 1958 Allis-Chalmers Model A at auction near the Nebraska border in the spring. In July, we harvested our first wheat, ever — check out the video for the inaugural harvest. This is red winter wheat, and after harvest we mill the berries into flour, which we will use to bake all of the breads at both of our restaurants and will also sell at our farmers’ markets in downtown Boulder and Denver’s Union Station.