Reply To: PRE-REQ/WK1: Introduce Yourself!

Jessy Swisher

Me in my garden this summer

Hello folks!  My name is Jessy and I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  This is a photo of me in my garden this summer.  This is the first year I’ve ever had a garden, so I am super excited.  Although, I previously grew some grains at my college farm (amaranth, rye, and buckwheat).  In the garden here this year, I planted a milling corn, amaranth, huauzontle, and sorghum (it’s actually a sugar cane variety, so I hope I can find a DIY solution to press it!), and just planted some Purple Tibetan Barley to over-winter.  I had also planted more sorghum and a popcorn at a friend’s farm, but I hear the raccoons ate all the corn!  🙁  I also have some ancient and heritage wheat seeds that I have spread around to growers in my area: Turkey Red Hard Winter Wheat and an ancient bread wheat called Caucausus that I got from Eli Rogosa.

I also started a networking group and communications platform for grain growers in my area, called the Pittsburgh Area Grain Growers Guild.  I am focused on smaller-scale growers, from backyard to community gardens and urban farms, but have also invited some larger scale farmers in my area to join in.  I just started the group this year, and will continue to expand outreach as time goes on.  We are newly establishing a demonstration plot of winter wheat at a local community garden or two to inspire and educate growers about the potential of grain growing.

I look forward to connecting with others, learning more about seed saving, breeding, and small-scale processing techniques and equipment.