All around me. In all four cardinal directions – but nothing to do with the sins – the wheat is sprouting. Struck. Rising up! Wheat is a hardy grass. Some varieties are sown just before the cold really hits yet are strong enough to weather the horrible winter and return in the spring. No wonder it is good to eat!
I know now that there are many different varieties. But in our fields we have Warthog wheat sown on one side and Frederick wheat on the other. Frederick is a soft white winter wheat and Warthog is a hard red winter wheat.
Warthog is milled into our All Purpose flour and Frederick is for cakes and muffins and pancakes and things like that.
Both are sown in the Autumn. Then around February the red clover is sown in with the dormant wheat and in the spring they sprout again together. The wheat already established; it leaps forward leaving the red clover to grow low as a cover crop, to retard the weeds. Once the wheat is out the cows are allowed to graze the clover cover crop for a while, before it is turned in, as a green compost and the next crop is sown.
That is in a perfect organic world anyway!
Stage One is underway!
Though neither of these wheats will produce a high protein bread flour, ( above is half mackinaw and half calumet – 100% whole kernel – my new favourite)! The Little Red Hen ( who is me!), is happy!
I can’t believe that I have eaten bread all my life (and I come from New Zealand, bread really is a staple in our diets in New Zealand) – but I never ever asked myself what the wheat was that is in our bread. I just thought wheat was wheat!
Now, as you know, you and I are off again to New Zealand in January. I have been looking hard for a small stone ground mill in New Zealand, small like ours here in Illinois, to talk to and tour and maybe spend a few days volunteering in, while I am home and look what my family found for me. In New Zealand.
Stone ground in this new windmill. (2 kg is about 4 pound).
Just 90 minutes from Wellington. I am going to rent a little rinky-dink rent-a- dent ( that’s what my family calls a rental car) and drive over to Foxton to visit with these millers. I am going to email them today and see what they are about.
This is the first little stone ground mill I have found in New Zealand. I wonder if their stones are as new as the windmill- this is all very exciting. Kind of new – about fifteen years old I think. I hope it is not too touristy. More to come!
I hope your day goes well.