Transition Whatcom

Small Scale Grain & Beans: Grow, Process, & Save (Network)


Small Scale Grain & Beans: Grow, Process, & Save (Network)

Sharing methods & tools used for planting, harvesting, threshing, storing, & milling. Organic & Biodynamics. Swapping heirloom or locally-appropriate seeds & resisting introduction of GMO seeds into our Salish Sea bioregion watersheds

Location: Cascadia Bioregion - Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Bellingham & beyond
Members: 47
Latest Activity: May 7, 2020

Welcome New Members! Please listen in & enjoy reading our current discussions & comments. .For viewing all the "Discussion" click the "View All" button below.. .Remember to be placed on our private email list through Heather K or Brian. :. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ** Purpose & Vision of Whatcom Wheat & Grain/Bean Growers **

* Sharing Methods & Tools for planting, harvesting, threshing, storing, & milling..(... organics, bio-dynamics, natural farming & beyond )
* Choosing Seed Varities for purposes of human food, animal feed & soil restoration;
* Swapping our best heirloom or locally-appropriate seeds, & resisting any introduction of GMO seeds into our watersheds.
* Increasing Skills in using Hand Tools, and tools powered with sustainable energy; transitioning to become independent of oil-powered tools and oil-based fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides.
* Events posted for sharing research, methods, & tools.
* Work-Parties for harvesting, threshing & combines....
* A network group for those growing 1) Traditional Grains like wheat,
2) Gluten-Free grains like quinoa, amaranth, rice, buckwheat, maize, millet,
3) Other Grains & Seeds like oats, sorghum, barley, triticale, spelt, flax, sunflowers, and safflower, and 4) Dry Storage Legumes such as dry beans, garbanzos, soy beans, fava beans, and soup peas.
* Sharing Skills such as Horse-drawn tool Cultivators, alternative power, and hand made/blacksmith tools.
* Also focused on our unique northwest Maritime Climate & soil types

This group is facilated by Krista Rome, Heather K, and our wise farmer friends!

To view all discussion, click on the 'View All' button at end of disucssion list.

Whatcom Farmers- Consider requesting subscription to the Whatcom Farmers Google group that contains useful events from Sustainable Connection, Laura R, & others.
To suscribe call Sustainable Connections or go to website:

Events we wish to promote can be done through the main TW "Events" tab.
(And also through Shannon Maris who sends out her focused "Garden E-News". Leave your email on her personal TW page if you wish to be on the mailing list
.(Also David MacLeod writes newsletters for both Sustainable Bellingham & TW).

(When we refer to growing 'organically', we refer to as what Farmer Walter would describe as the "feed the soil" paradigm & the research of Sir Albert Howard, Robert Rodale & many others from over the last 100 years...Not the co-optation of the word by the marketing, regulatory, & globel corporation world.... Many growers style of farming go beyond organic into a deeper form of earthcare)

Discussion Forum

Spring planted fava beans

Started by Jesse Corrington. Last reply by Walter Haugen Feb 3, 2011. 4 Replies

Dry Bean and Grain Seeds

Started by Krista Rome Feb 20, 2011. 0 Replies

The nitty-gritty: growing, harvesting, and processing grains and beans

Started by Susan Kroll and Sergio Moreno. Last reply by Krista Rome Sep 21, 2010. 7 Replies

The "Other" Grains / Backyard Beans & Grains Project

Started by Krista Rome. Last reply by MelvinGott May 7, 2020. 19 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Small Scale Grain & Beans: Grow, Process, & Save (Network) to add comments!

Comment by Celt M. Schira on July 27, 2011 at 9:11pm
Krista, Awesome tortillas! Very nice and round. That wooden press really works well. I have a heavy metal Mexican one, and it works well, but creates less uniform tortillas. Probably, it's all about practice. For anyone interested in how to make corn tortillas, the procedure is detailed at Celt's Garden - Corn Tortillas and Skagit River Produce. The smell of fresh tortillas will make friends, even if they are passersby on the sidewalk lingering to smell.
Comment by Terese VanAssche on July 27, 2011 at 4:40pm

Wow Krista,

Your tortillas are beautiful.  I think I have some of the Mandan Bride corn seed from the last seed swap at Inspiration Farm.  Next raised bed in Fern Hollow front yard is going to be corn, barley, flax and tricicale from Walter.

The big garden in the back does not drain well so thinking about what will be good cover crop this winter over the larger bed?  I have mustard and a number of other ideas for cover.  Suggestions?

Also I bought a great tortilla press from Monterrey "Pagoel" metal and the plates are heavy so it does a good job. Found it at a thrift store somewhere and paid less than $10 for it.  Haven't sat down and made 70 at one sitting ever, but this could do the job.  While in Michigan in June bougt a great grain grinder at a community thrift store near Detroit, and it rocks!  A Rival Grind-O-Mat and has interchangeable plates for nuts, grains, and food chopping, all for $4.95!

One of these days I would love to see your trial grain and cover crop beds, to gain some ideas for Fern Hollow beds.  :)  

Comment by Krista Rome on July 27, 2011 at 2:14pm

I spent a couple hours this morning on a big batch of tortillas. I got about 70 tortillas from 8 cups of my dent corn (I'm working on my supply of Mandan Bride at the moment). Here's the gear: my brand-new Estrella masa grinder (about $50 from a local Mexican grocery store), and good quality wooden tortilla press (the cheap plastic ones break easily. I broke my mom's on the first tortilla I pressed for her. Oops). You'll need cast iron pans for frying up the tortillas.

Comment by Krista Rome on June 26, 2011 at 11:29pm
Well, Celt and I had a fabulous group of folks (12 plus us, I think) join us in our bean and grain field yesterday. It was fun and productive and we met some great people. We also learned an interesting lesson. When the birds are pulling out your seedlings, best not to weed until the seedlings get big enough to fight back. The beds that Celt had weeded earlier were decimated, whereas the beds that got left due to lack of time were full of healthy corn plants. The birds didn't find them. An interesting argument for keeping the path weeds down but not worrying about the beds or rows until later.
Comment by Krista Rome on June 7, 2011 at 11:20pm
Got a lot of bean and corn seedlings and even variety ID tags being pulled out and left lying on the ground...we think it's crows, but does anyone have experience with this and have suggestions? Would that flashy bird ribbon help? It's too much area to mulch or put row covers or screen on, in my humble opinion.
Comment by Heather K on May 24, 2011 at 8:49am
Spring grown local Triticale seed !  Trititcale grain is useful for bread making, chicken feed, or cover crop for organic matter.  Information & seed available on this grain from Farmer Walter.  Seed-savers may want to obtain this locally grown & hand harvested seed. . For larger seed orders try Fedco or Peaceful Valley.  Connect with Walter on discussion at
Comment by Heather K on May 17, 2011 at 6:34pm
Why do we need to grow grains & winnow the seed?

Celt quote: “...Because we want to preserve and eat delicious heritage varieties, because monocropping huge expanses of single varieties of grain has regularly led to crop failure in recent history.... .Because we get 70% of our calories from energy crops and almost none of it comes from Whatcom County and vicinity. Because it's like everything else in reestablishing our local food production; it has to start with the whacko hobbyist.”   Read her full blog at-

 Celt has found an antique Clipper! 


Cheers for the team who created the 1st Whatcom Food Network forum event on May 11th! (Thanks Laura R & team!)

It was a huge success with a broad cross-section of involved citizens attending! Another may occur this fall.

To follow Laura R discussion on our transition 'food security network' go to & click 'follow” at-


Local seed-savers are encouraged to join “GMO Awareness & Action” - a transition network that Brian K of Inspiration Farm initiated-

*  Plant seeds – Harvest & winnow – Share the abundance! *

Krista & Celt – I think our local food coop members affair committee is accepting applications for some of the 'members affairs' money....A phone call to Jean Rogers, Nathan Chapman, or Michael Elkins ( by anyone willing to help out with), this may provide the details 734-8158.
Comment by Kate Clark on November 10, 2010 at 7:56pm
Delete Comment Hey food security people, I have held off as a lot of you were busy with planting and then harvest...I assume things may have slowed a bit by now. I would like to start planning a Whatcom Food Security Summit for January or February. My goals at least, would be to get these food security efforts, groups, organizations, etc. together to assess the current situation, and see where there needs to be more support and where there may be complete gaps. Any of you interested in being on a planning team for this?
Comment by Heather K on October 22, 2010 at 3:37pm
Whatcom Farmers- Consider requesting subscription to the Whatcom Farmer's Google-group's emails that contains useful info/events from SC Food & Farmer program & local farmers..
To subscribe contact Sustainable Connections or go to their website & add your email.
(I've added link to this groups text for future new members).

Food Buying Club & CSA folks – A TW Discussion would be useful to start on the broader TW site as this will include the broader community. This will keep the focus of our grain/bean group on “Grow – Save- Process” as expressed in the groups purpose & vision in opening text. The valuable local food-club info shared in earlier comments can be copied over to a broader TW Discussion.. We welcome a volunteer to do this as time allows. (maybe Laura S would do this). Great discussion & wisdom here, and we encourage a food-buying discussion outside this group to respect email boxes of our fellow farmers. Who ever starts one, please post a link here on our group.

All- Seed-Swap & Barter Fair at Inspiration Farm in rural Laurel/ Bellingham area on Sat Nov 13th.Please consider volunteering to help create and add your RSVP. Read Event Details at:
Comment by Laura R. on October 17, 2010 at 11:47am
Laura, definitely contact Josh at Nooksack nine to talk about this year's experience growing grains.

Members (45)


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