Mai Nguyen has been growing heirloom wheat varieties in California’s Sonoma County for eight years. But this spring was the first time in their career when they didn’t plant a crop at all.
“I was planning for another major drought year, but we had rain, and I’m trying to not kick myself,” they say.
The farmer and social justice activist—who distributes their grains and fresh-milled flours through a CSA-style subscription under the name Farmer Mai —has adapted specialized varieties such as Akmolinka and Chiddam Blanc de Mars to Sonoma County’s increasingly hot, dry climate, eschewing irrigation in favor of natural rainfall. […]