Sunday, February 14, 2016

Talking Wheat

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ole Lake Farm!  We don’t make much of this “special” day for sweethearts around here.  As with birthdays, my opinion is that a date on the calendar doesn’t make this day anymore special than yesterday or tomorrow.  Every day is special and precious and it’s good to be alive and together.

So, about wheat.  We’ve been growing wheat for a few years now.  What we have been growing is a spring wheat, meaning it is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.  While the end product is good and grinds into great flour, we are not satisfied with the yield at all.  This wheat just doesn’t seem to thrive in our environment. 

A while back Kevin was reading a Mother Earth News article and a winter wheat variety by the name of Turkey Red piqued his interest.  Much valued by bread bakers, this heirloom grain is a winter wheat.  That means that it is planted in the fall, comes up and then goes dormant for the winter.  It comes back in the spring and completes its life cycle in early summer.  This is how our rye is grown and rye grows very well for us.  So, the search was on for Turkey Red seed. 

Turns out, Turkey Red seed was not easy to find.  A couple of years have gone by, but we are pleased to report that we have obtained it from an organic grower in Kansas.  We haven’t ground any for flour yet, but I did cook some up yesterday as whole wheat berries.  I also cooked some of our homegrown wheat berries from last year for comparison.  I found it interesting that the Turkey Red cooked more quickly and made a larger volume of the finished product.  The taste is pretty much the same.  So for now, some of the Turkey Red is going to get ground for our use and for a local baker to use in bread, and the rest will stay in the granary until this August when it will be planted.  According to the folks we have talked to while looking for this grain, nobody knows of it being grown this far north.  This is going to be our 2016 experiment.  Last year sunflowers, this year Turkey Red.  

Here is what cooked wheat berries look like.  On the left is our spring wheat, and on the right the Turkey Red.  I will be enjoying them both for breakfast this week.  They also are good in soup and in salad recipes. 
If you are interested in reading up on wheat, here is a link to the Mother Earth News article:
I will conclude today’s post with a couple of critter photos.  Remember the 80’s hairstyle of “feathered” hair, like Farah Fawcet?  Check out Diego’s hackle feathers!  

So stay warm, and be well.


  1. How fun to be able to experiment with something new! I pray the weather is great to grow this wonderful new seed! Be well Flowers family and Happy Valentine's Day💖

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