Poppies and Emmer


To combat the brutal heat we’ve been getting day in and day out this summer, I’ve been showing up at the Noble Rot rooftop much more around sunrise and sunset to water, plant, and….photograph. Of course we all know how magic the light is at that time, and I am pleased to share this picture of bucolic urbanity: backlit purple poppies and sunset-kissed wheat. The poppies have become naturalized weeds in the roof garden, but they’re so amazingly beautiful that I must leave some each year purely for aesthetics. In addition, the chefs like them for the seeds (and for other purposes which I will not mention here).
The emmer is something new this year. In fact, we’ve never tried any grains, and even if we didn’t use the seeds, the visual effect has been well worth it – broccoli and lettuce don’t sway gracefully in the wind!  I had planted it early in the season on a whim, wanting a little something different for the soil, a little break from all the mustard greens that we must grow to satisfy the diners down below. Grains have tremendously fibrous roots and give back much organic matter, plus this particular crop had good pedigree. Emmer is an ancient wheat, also known under the name faro. It’s oldest cultivation has been traced to Damascus, Syria around 8000 BC, so it was with a certain reverence and a resonance with the past that I sowed the crop back in January. As you can see, it’s just about ready, accelerated like everything else is here in the Pacific NW by about one month. I’ll harvest my sheaves of grain in a few more days, then we’ll see what the kitchen does with it.  For now, I’m feasting on it with my eyes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *