Sowing the wheat

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The Concrete Garden and Open Jar Collective are pleased to be taking part in Scotland The Bread and growing three of its trial wheats in The Back Garden from autumn 2015.  Next summer the local community in Possilpark will be able to harvest, thresh and mill the grain and bake it into healthy bread. Their findings will be part of Scotland The Bread‘s participatory research – from the soil to the slice.


2J7A0562Last week we received the wheat seeds – Golden Drop, Hunters, and Rouge d’Ecosse  – and worked with volunteers and local families to sow these in a communal raised bed at The Back Garden.

First we cleared the bed of weeds and stones, then we carefully measured out the spacing and marked the rows with string.  We made holes 2.5cm apart and sowed 4 rows of each variety of wheat, then we carefully covered the seeds and netted the bed to stop birds doing any damage.

We’ll be watching closely for the seeds to germinate in the next 10 to 14 days and the volunteer growers will be collecting data for Scotland The Bread‘s research.

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Getting started on the journey from soil to slice

Next week with Global Canteen, we’ll be sowing a bed of Scottish winter wheat in Possilpark. Join us on Thursday 15 October, 2-3pm, at The Back Garden (behind the Health Centre on Saracen Street).  Local growers at The Concrete Garden‘s new growing space The Back Garden are one of the communities participating in Scotland The Bread a project that has been developed by Bread Matters.

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Global canteen-Scotland the Bread poster

Scotland The Bread “brings together research and change in our grain, flour and bread supply with the skilling-up of bakers who can bring real bread into every community.” At their farm in Macbiehill, which we visited a few weeks ago, Bread Matters “are evaluating Scottish heritage winter wheats and high-mineral Nordic spring wheats as well as spelt, emmer, einkorn, oats, barley and rye. In total they have more than 70 varieties of grain growing at Macbiehill Agroforestry. Harvesting of the winter rye and wheat began on September 19th. The spring oats will probably be last to be harvested in mid-October.”

Wheat seeds from Macbiehill Agroforestry will soon be winging their way to us here in Glasgow, ready to be sown in the city.  There will only be a small sample bed at The Back Garden in Possilpark, but a larger area is being sown by our friends at Locavore in their Urban Croft at Queens Park.

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Site visit to Macbiehill Agroforestry

We will be one of six community growing sites taking part in Scotland The Bread, giving people the chance to see what goes into the whole process of producing bread – from sowing and tending the crops, to threshing and milling the grain, to finally baking and sharing a nutritious sourdough loaf.  At The Back Garden we’ll be monitoring the success rate of the crop and gathering data to add to Scotland the Bread‘s research.

We’re exciting to be starting on this journey with Bread Matters, The Concrete Garden and the team of local volunteers who will be caring for their precious wheat bed from now until next September!

Blog and photographs by Clementine Sandison, Design by Josie Vallely

Communal cooking at The Concrete Garden

Back in September when the sun was shining, Open Jar spent a few days cooking with the lovely growers and local families at the Concrete Garden and Back Garden in Possil Park.  We were exploring what you can make with different types of flour, learning from different cultural traditions.  Using the freshest seasonal produce from the garden we made steamed Chinese dumplings, pasta with nasturtium pesto, empanadas baked in the wood oven, not to mention bannocks and corn on the cob cooked on a fire at the Harvest Celebration.  It was all pretty delicious and we’re really excited about starting our weekly Global Canteen Cookery Group that will be running on Fridays from 23rd October.

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Global Canteen Cookery Group- for social mediaGlobal Canteen Cookery Group

Fridays, 23 October – 11 December, 12.30-2.30pm at The Concrete Garden

Each week we will harvest fresh produce from the garden, share recipes, learn new cooking skills and enjoy a tasty lunch together.

To book your free place contact Emma on: 0141 237 9144 /

Photos by Clementine Sandison, Design by Josie Vallely