I did not know what to do with the dried wheat stalks that I used for decoration on my front door wreath for Thanksgiving. On a lark I chopped them up and littered, very un-carefully, a bare patch of garden soil with the seed heads. A couple of weeks later clumps of bright green wheat grass began to sprout up. Today I have a few green stalks of wheat growing in my garden.
I did not think of Florida as a wheat growing state, but a little research shows that wheat has been grown in Florida since the time of the early settlers (Bulletin - Florida Dept of Agriculture, Volume 27, 1917). According to Management Considerations for Wheat Production in Florida, “Small grains grow best on fertile, well drained soils. If corn or other grass crops do well, wheat should also produce good yields”. So, basically, if you can grow corn, you can also grow wheat. And apparently it does not really matter where you live in Florida, you can grow wheat anywhere. The best time for sowing wheat in Florida is in November and December and by May or June it will be ready for harvest.
I am growing wheat for the fun of it because it seems like a lot of work to grow it for making my own flour for bread. Plus, my little plot will not yield anywhere near enough wheat stalks for making the amount of flour I will need for bread or even pasta for dinner one evening. I figure that after harvesting the grain (cutting it by hand), binding the sheaves, curing the grain, threshing, winnowing, then finally grinding the wheat, I can drive over to the health food store and buy a bag of organic flour. Sorry, I am just not green enough for growing my own wheat to eat. If you are up for the challenge, here is a great Mother Earth News article about Growing Your Own Wheat. From my own experience, the growing part is easy – just sprinkle some wheat seeds on a bare portion of well drained fertile soil in a sunny location, water well and as easy as grass grows, so will your plot of wheat. Buying wheat seeds is easy too. Your local Feed and Tack store should have them in stock, if not, Google “wheat seeds” and you will find plenty of places that sell bags of them cheap over the internet for growing your own.