Harry Potter, the beach, Disney World, and … WHEAT?

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I have been on vacation this week. Julie is wonderful for holding down the fort while I’ve been away (although it would have been more fun if she were here with me!) Here are a few highlights of my trip:

Butterbeer in Hogsmeade

Bikini Beach Babe

A Few of My Favorite Things

A “Wheatie” Plane Ride

My daughter and I sat by a really nice Grandpa on our flight to Florida. He gave his extra cookies to her, and she let him play “Temple Run” on our iPad. I had a nice chat with him, and during our conversation I discovered that he owns a little farm in Minnesota. I told him about my Backyard Chickens and asked him what he farmed. When he told me he grew wheat I actually squealed and said “I have a basement FULL of wheat!” I think I took him by surprise. lol. He was impressed that I grind my own wheat and cook with it, and he was awesome about answering my questions for the next thirty minutes or so.

Winter wheat versus spring wheat
A few years ago we did a post about the different Types of Wheat, so I was proud of myself that I could ask him what type he grew and sort of know what I was talking about. However, I discovered I was not very well-educated on spring versus winter wheat. I assumed he grew winter wheat since Minnesota is so cold, but he told me it’s the opposite. Winter wheat is germinated in the fall and then sits dormant over the winter, it resumes growing as the weather warms up and is harvest in early summer. Spring wheat is planted in April or May and harvested in August or early September. Very cold regions have too harsh of winters to be able to plant in the fall for winter wheat. This totally makes sense to me now. Also winter wheat produces more wheat per square foot, but spring wheat has a higher protein content.

Home-grown wheat
After learning about HIS wheat, I proceeded to hound this nice gentleman with questions about growing my own wheat in a small space. He told me I could grow wheat from my stored wheat kernels (as long as they will sprout you should be able to use them for crops). You can grow as much or as little as you have room for. If you have a yard that’s 20 feet by 50 feet, you could plant 6 pounds of wheat and harvest nearly 50 pounds of grain (source). You will need to learn the proper harvesting methods for home harvesting, but that information seems to be readily available online.

I told my new farmer friend that I would love to try to grow a little wheat and see how it works in my area. Then if some major long-term catastrophe occurred I would know that I could tear up my whole yard and plant lots of wheat if I had to. By the end of our flight he had asked for my address because he wants to send me a little packet of his wheat to try growing in my yard next spring. I thought it was really cute and nice of him and I’m excited to give it a whirl. I may even try doing a couple different kinds of wheat (using some of my stored wheat as well). We’ll see how ambitious I get!

Who knew you could have a food storage adventure in the middle of a Florida vacation?

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