Triticum aestivum Hard red heritage spring wheat developed in the 1840s by David Fife at his Peterborough Farm in Upper Canada, now Ontario. The most widely grown Canadian wheat in the second half of the 19th century, interest in Red Fife is enjoying a well-deserved rebirth. Greatly admired for its rich flavor.
Requires fewer inputs than modern varieties. The seed has remarkable genetic diversity and adapts to a wide range of growing conditions. Less determinate than modern varieties; Henry Perkins recommends harvesting early and investing in good drying equipment. Availability may be spotty; if we can’t get Red Fife we will substitute a different organic hard spring wheat. Plant at 100–125#/acre, 3–4#/1000 sq ft. ①
8145 Red Fife Spring Wheat - Organic
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Triticum aestivum Most modern wheats are broadly divided into categories by color (red or white), protein content (hard or soft), and by planting season (winter or spring).
“Red” and “white” refer to the color of the kernel, which doesn’t necessarily translate into the color of the flour, although red wheats tend to have a darker-colored bran and white wheats tend to have a sweeter flavor.
“Hard” wheat is a high-protein wheat (typically 13-15% protein) that is ideal for bread-baking; “soft” wheat is a low-protein wheat (typically 10-11% protein) that is best for tender-crumbed pastries.
Winter wheat is planted in the fall, around first frost or up to 3 weeks or so before. It grows several inches in the fall, goes dormant for the winter, sprouts early in the spring and is ready for harvest by mid-August in Maine. Spring wheat is planted in early to mid-spring and is harvested in the fall of the same year. Winter wheats tend to produce yields 25-50% higher than spring wheats and compete better with weeds, but hard spring wheats have the best potential for high protein content.