The Good and the Bad

This morning as I drove onto my farm, I noticed that most of my 1874 Turkey Red Winter Wheat was lying flat on the ground. It was planted in the most protected area of the farm. Most storms and wind come from the West here and there’s a hedgerow to the West, but this was must have blown in a bit more from the South.

Turkey Red_Flat

Just the other day, it looked more like this.

1874 Heritage Wheat
1874 Turkey Red Winter Wheat

And a few days ago, it was blowing nicely in the breeze, like this.

As I began to assess what to do next, I thought that maybe it would be best to just process what was happening. To acknowledge that this was happening, and just to sit with it for a while.

So that’s why I’m writing this post.

My farm is built on the assumption that while agricultural knowledge through science is vast, there is still something to learn about how agricultural systems (and economic and cultural systems) as a whole work together. This is knowledge that could be called ecological, or cultural or sustainable.

And so the bedrock value of my farm is experimentation, learning and and the resulting knowledge gained from success and failure. My hunch is that in the tension between success and failure (however defined) is the beginning of knowledge, and the essential part of learning.

So, for now, I will sit with this fact, and see what I can learn from it.

UPDATE: 12 hours after this was written, the wheat stood back up (for the most part). See standing “resurrection” wheat below.


The Good and the Bad

Ben Penner Farms – Certified Organic

Ben Penner Farms is a 36 acre certified organic farm located in Belle Plaine, MN. I grow alfalfa, hard red winter and spring wheat, food grade soybeans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans and organic vegetable starter plants. If you are interested in buying organic whole grains and beans, please email me at

Ben Penner Farms – Certified Organic