Stuart Schroeder of Stone Horse Farm
It is a hard red wheat that can be grown as a spring or winter variety in our mild coastal climate. It typically has a protein content in the range of 12 to 15%. I planted mine in the third week of June and harvested it in the first week of October, about 15 weeks. I irrigated it only 3 times over the summer until the straw was 24″ or up to the height of the rainbirds. By September you could not see the rainbirds. To harvest I used a 1946 Allis Chalmers AllCrop 60 combine, which I restored to operating condition. The combine did a good job of threshing and winnowing the grain, but I took it to Ukiah to have it cleaned of weed seeds and broken wheat berries, called middlings or midds (which I feed to my chickens). I also have some of the wheat berries milled into flour there in small batches which I keep refrigerated.” We have made pizza dough, cookies, muffins, and pie crust with this wheat flour. It is delicious, with a wonderful nutty flavor and aroma.
You might want to cut it with some unbleached commercial flour until you get used to the texture. It is truly a whole wheat.”
Red Fife is an heirloom variety, or landrace, of wheat that is thought to have originated in Turkey. It was passed along until it made it to Ontario where a farmer named David Fife grew a small sample out and passed it along to neighbors in the mid 1800s. Red Fife seed adapted to a great diversity of growing conditions across Canada and became the baking and milling industry standard for forty years. It has been used in the development of many modern varieties since then. For more info on modern wheat manipulation check out http://sustainablegrains.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/solvingthemodernwheatdilemmajanuary2014.pdf
Interested in trying locally grown wheat? Reach Stuart through his website http://www.stonehorse.biz/
Stuart on his combine he fixed for threshing wheat