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Organic Pacific Bluestem Wheat

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organic hard red wheatOrganic Pacific Bluestem Wheat

Triticum aestivum

Pacific Bluestem is very well adapted to California (particularly the Sacramento Valley) and the Pacific Northwest region, where it was the favored spring wheat variety for many years.  The variety was introduced from Australia in the 1880's, where it was equally popular, and known as White Lamma.  Pacific Bluestem was generally considered the best variety for milling and baking, and its popularity only declined with the introduction of higher yielding varieties, such as Federation and Baart.  

The grain heads are erect and almost square, with awnless spikelets.  It is not clear how  "Bluestem" became part of the name, as no part of the plant is blue.  

For more on the history and qualities of Pacific Bluestem, see:


Simple threshing techniques:

Quinoa Growing Instructions

With it's origins in the high Andean plateau, quinoa is best adapted to cooler climates, but will grow in almost any moderate climate.  Keep in mind that those with hot summers may have reduced yields.  Quinoa doesn't like it's roots wet so make sure the soil doesn't stay inundated with water.  Plant 1/2 to 1" deep (depending on soil moisture) into a well prepared seed bed in late spring.  Space plants 3-4" apart on 24" rows for a single-headed crop.  For maximum yield, space plants 12" apart on 24" rows for multi branched plants.  Keep the soil moist while germinating.  
Quinoa spends it's first few weeks developing roots, so be vigilant to keep the soil weeded, or weeds can quickly take over a plot. Once the plants start to mature, the seeds will mature from the top of the plant down, allowing for an extended harvest.  If you wait until the whole plant is mature, the top seeds can shatter and be lost, so it's best to harvest the seed heads as they mature from the top down.  
Thresh into a clean bucket or garbage can by hitting the seed head against the side, or rubbing the seed head between gloved hands.  Quinoa contains a saponin coating that will need to be rinsed off before eating.  Before eating, soak the seeds for a few minutes, and then place the seeds into a colander under running water until no more foam forms.  
Quinoa seeding rate is about 10/lb per acre with yields normally between 1,000-3,000 lb per acre
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