I had an delightful impromtu conversation on Tuesday with Glenn Roberts, founder of Anson Mills. It turns out he’s from San Diego, growing up in La Jolla and Kearney Mesa — back when Kearney Mesa was all farms.
Back in the day, in addition to farming in San Diego, Glenn and his family also farmed an eight-grain rotation in the desert outside of Jacumba — with no irrigation. This was amazing for me to learn, I think a lot of people (including me) have come to believe that there’s no way we can grow much food in San Diego on the natural rainfall. Plus it seems so odd (and hopeful) to think of farming grain here.
La Milpa Organica and Wingshadows Hacienda, along with many others, continue to demonstrate how we can have great local fresh produce. Additionally, a few ranches are raising cows or goats on local pasture, making local meat viable.
If we could resume the farming of grains in San Diego, we’d demonstrate the possibility of San Diego being a viable, self-sufficient community.
Plus, San Diego could really have its own pigs, raised on local grain.
Anyway, Glenn says about 5 acres is all that’s needed to put in a viable rotation of heirloom grains, and if anyone in town wanted to start farming it, he’d provide the knowledge template and set us up with the seeds. And, heck, the Linkery would of course buy all the grain once it was milled.