Welcome to the online manifestation of the agricultural art project Against the Grain!
This test version is dedicated to a first seed... others will follow soon to build a rhizomatic platform with various entries, sharings of information and stories about cereals, fields, bread and so on.... Starting on a local scale and extending to global production issues.
Stay tuned !
Type species: Triticum aestivum
Common wheat (Triticum aestivum ), also known as bread wheat, is a cultivated wheat species. About 95% of wheat produced worldwide is common wheat; it is the most widely grown of all crops and the cereal with the highest monetary yield.
Wheat fields (Togano and Darius Wheat Varieties), Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
This variety of wheat is bearded. It is sometimes sown on the edge of fields to avoid damage by game because these long stems tickle wild boars.
Those peasant seeds (1) were given in 2021 by Daniel, peasant baker (2) at Chateaudouble, France
Wheat fields (Togano and Darius Wheat Varieties), Châteaudouble, France, July 202
(1) Peasant seeds are selected and reproduced by farmers in farms and gardens run by peasant, organic or biodynamic agriculture. In contrast to standardized, non-reproducible or GMO industrial seeds, they are diversified and evolving populations, resulting from natural selection and renewal methods, non-transgressive and within the reach of farmers. Reproducible and non-appropriable by a property title, they are sown and resown according to the exchanges between the farmers and gardeners who cultivate them, respecting the rights of use defined by the collectives who have selected and conserved them. Their characteristics make them essential to adapt to the diversity and variability of soils, climates, farming practices and human needs. Thanks to their hardiness and adaptability, they allow to reduce chemical inputs and to meet the challenge of feeding people in an environmentally friendly way.”
Definition freely translated from “Réseau Semences Paysannes” (RSP), a collective born in 2003, involved in the promotion of organic and peasant agriculture.
close-up of the Millstones, at Daniel's, peasant baker at Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
(2) Peasant Baker, From the seeds to the bread
Peasant bakers are autonomous: they grow their own seeds, mills their cereals, make them into flour which they use to bake bread. They then sell their products either directly at the farm or at the market.
freshly ground flour, at Daniel's, peasant baker at Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
bagging of flour, at Daniel's, peasant baker at Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
Wheat is a widely cultivated crop whose seed is a grain used all over the world as a staple food. Of the thousands of known wheat varieties, the most important are common wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (T. durum), and club wheat (T. compactum). Wheat is cultivated as a cash crop, as it produces a good yield per unit area, grows well in a temperate climate with a moderately short growing season, and yields a versatile, high-quality flour. The majority of wheat flour is used to make products including bread, pasta, cereal, pastries, cookies, crackers, muffins, tortillas, and pitas
Wheat is the second-most-produced cereal grain behind maize, and the global trade of wheat is greater than all other crops combined. In 2020, the total global production of wheat was 760 million tons. China, India, and Russia are the three largest individual wheat producers in the world, accounting for about 41% of the world’s total wheat production. The United States is the fourth-largest individual wheat producer in the world. However, the European Union, if it were counted as a single country, its wheat production would exceed that of any country except China.
Top 10 Wheat Producing Countries*
(in tons of wheat produced 2020)*
1. China — 134,254,710
2. India — 107,590,000
3. Russia — 85,896,326
4. United States — 49,690,680
5. Canada — 35,183,000
6. France — 30,144,110
7. Pakistan — 25,247,511
8. Ukraine — 24,912,350
9. Germany — 22,172,100
10. Turkey — 20,500,000
* As mentioned, the EU’s production of 126,658,950 tons would rank 2nd if it were a single country.
The impact of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine on global wheat production
Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly 30% of the global wheat trade. As a result, Russia’s 2022 military invasion of the Ukraine sent global wheat prices soaring, with Ukraine’s production ability compromised and many countries restricting or shutting down trade relations with Russia. Russia is also a major supplier of fertilizer, which is vital to maximizing crop yields, which adds another layer of complication for farmers.
grain silo et grain auger, at Daniel's, peasant baker at Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
Daniel's bakery, direct Farm Sales, Châteaudouble, France, July 2021
Against the Grain, 2022 -
In-situ installation, EKKM, Tallinn
Surface approx. 60 m2, 35 tons of topsoil
Field sown with twelve types of bread cereals from wheat, rye, oats, barley, lentil, chickpea, certified and farmer (heirloom) seeds from Estonia, Lithuania and France.
Project by Gisèle Gonon
Graphic Design by Robin Siimann