We wanted to try our hand at growing something new this winter. As it turns out, Arizona is a great place to grow wheat! Most wheat grown here is durum wheat, which is used to make pasta. We decided to grow an heirloom variety called Sonora Wheat. It is used to make a variety of foods, including bread, pie crust, tortillas, pasta, and pastry. We liked its versatility, plus it grows well in the dry desert and has a very interesting history. It was difficult to find a supplier for seed as many seed companies do not carry it or run out quickly. We purchased our seed through Sustainable Seed Company.
You can find videos and articles online detailing how to plant wheat. Many recommend broadcasting the seed evenly over a designated plot, then raking dirt over the seeds and watering. We planted our seeds 1 inch deep in rows using a seeder to be sure they were evenly distributed. We planted 8 oz of seeds in a 15 ft by 30 ft area. The wheat will be ready to harvest once it has grown tall, bushy, and starts turning yellow. The number of days until harvest depends on the climate (we read anywhere from 120 days to 250 days) and has to be harvested during a dry season, typically during the summer months. The expected yield varies depending on which source you read so we will see how much we end up with! Stay tuned for our article in the spring on harvesting wheat.