Growing grains in the high desert | Edible New Mexico

“Basically, I want to grow things you do not need to refrigerate,” Daniel Hutchison says of the inspiration for Big Wheel Farm. “There are people who produce vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy very well but no one was really doing grains. And grains are a cornerstone of our diet.” Raised in Questa, Hutchison established his sixty-acre farm farther north, in Costilla, in order to fill what he had come to perceive as a void in the regional agricultural system: growing grains and pulses (beans, lentils, and peas).

We first met Hutchison shortly after he purchased his land in 2019. When André approached him and asked if he would grow White Sonora wheat for us to use at Wild Leaven Bakery, Hutchison “figured that it’s good as anything.”

White Sonora wheat is a preindustrial grain brought by the Spanish to what are now the borderlands of Sonora and Arizona. In collaboration with André, Chris Pieper, and Jim Avery, Hutchison acquired his first one thousand pounds of White Sonora wheat seeds from Arizona.