Wheat Grows: Spring to Harvest
Week of June
wheat is starting to ripen. Once it is ripe, it will be
ready to harvest. As the individual wheat seeds (also
called kernels) mature, the wheat plant stops growing
and stops taking nutrients and moisture from the roots.
The wheat plant uses all the remaining nutrients stored
in the stems and leaves to finish producing the wheat
the plant dies, the color gradually changes from green
to gold. A common term for this change is “turning”.
The wheat in these photos is starting to “turn”.
seed also goes thru a process of drying down - the outer
coating begins to harden and the inner layers also start
to lose moisture. At the “milk dough” stage,
the seeds are soft and can be squeezed. What comes out
looks like thick white milk. Then, it becomes harder to
squeeze the seed so it may be cracked open by putting
it in the mouth and cracking the outer coating with teeth.
The insides are thicker –more like bread dough than
milk at this point. Finally, when the wheat is almost
ready to harvest, the outer coating is hard and may even
need to be softened before it can be cracked open. At
that time, the wheat seeds can be chewed once they’re
cracked open – a good substitute for chewing gum!