Saturday, July 21, 2007

Growing Bread Part 2 of 4: Planting

The soil was ready, but what to plant? I live in cold hardiness zone 7 in Maryland and I wanted to make bread from my wheat. Bread wheat needs to be high in protein (gluten is the protein in the wheat that acts like rubber to make pockets to catch the gas from the yeast so the bread can rise) so I talked to my agricultural extension agent about what kind of wheat to grow. Hard winter wheat was the answer. Some very nice people from the wheat commission in Kansas gave me a pound of this wheat for free! I should probably mention that the ag agent and the Kansas people may have injured themselves rolling on the floor laughing at my 1/100th of an acre....

If you don't care too much about how high your bread rises, you go for the random wheat seeds sold as "Wheat Berries" in the health food section.

Still, I would encourage you to contact your ag agent (Google him based on your county) because he or she probably needs a laugh and because they can tell you things like: don't plant winter wheat (in my county) until after October 15th or it will all be eaten by a particular kind of fly!

Anyway, we scattered the wheat and let some of it fall on the path (sidewalk) where birds really did eat it very quickly, some on stony (untilled) ground and so forth. And we waited.


Queen of Carrots said...

This sounds like such an intriguing project. Except you'll become legendary as "that homeschooling mom who makes her own bread from wheat she grinds herself." You're not teaching your kindergarteners calculus on the side, are you?

Queen of Carrots said...

I mean *grows* herself. The grinding is an entrance requirement, I think. ;-)