bishop's ranch wheat - heading stage

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Wheat planted at the Bishop's Ranch in March has emerged into an exciting new developmental stage called, "heading."  You can see the heads of wheat forming.

We primarily planted Sonora wheat, but our friends at Front Porch Farm, also in Healdsburg, gave us a few pounds of Bolero wheat seeds to plant once they heard about our project. Bolero is used in Italy for making pasta and breads and is delicious. Grazie Front Porch Farm!

awns
awns

We can tell that the wheat photographed is Bolero and not Sonora because of the awns.  Awns are the bristle-like hairs that extend from the florets or tiny kernels.  Awns exist as a very sophisticated self-cultivating system.  Once the grain is ripe they propel themselves into the soil and drill the seed down into the earth.  Tiny silica hairs on the awns act like a fish hook, preventing the seed from reversing back toward the soil surface.  Pretty cool.