Turkey Red Wheat
(Triticum aestivum); Heritage; a Slow Food Ark of Taste cultivar; Hard Red; Awned; Fall-planted
Of exceptional flavor and baking qualities, Turkey Red is a landrace hard red winter wheat that was introduced to US growers around 1873. One of the best adapted hard red varieties, Russian Mennonites brought their cherished seed with them as they fled the Crimea to Kansas. Farmers impressed with Turkey Red increased their planted acreage and as steel roller mills were perfected, the variety gradually dominated hard reds. In 1924, Turkey Red was the top grown wheat covering over 14 million acres across 30 states.
In the mid-1940s, as with many heritage varieties, changes in cultivation favored modern cultivars and Turkey Red all but vanished. Thankfully dedicated efforts and the 2009 boarding of Turkey Red upon Slow Food's Ark of Taste mean a resurgence of this fantastic bread wheat.
As a member of the Crimean Group of Hard Red Wheats, Turkey Red's long tapering heads are 3-3.5 inches and yield slender dull dark-red kernels with characteristic rounded edges and small germ (embryo) region. Drought resistance plants of medium height mature midseason
Slow Food's Turkey Red Wheat listing is well worth the read.
Please use the drop-down menu to select between packet sizes, minimum:
2018 Summer Harvest Data
|distance between plants||6 inch|
|distance between rows||8 inches|
|final plant height||42 inches|
|heads per plant||15|
|seeds per head||XX|
|weight per 100 seeds||XX grams|
|length of head||XX mm|
|awned / awnless||awned|
|hulled / hulless||hulless|
Turkey Red is also known as: Turkey, Alberta Red, Crimean, Defiance, Egyptian, Hard Winter, Hundred and One, Improved Turkey, Lost Freight, Malcome, Malakof, Minnesota Red Cross, Minnesota Reliable, Pioneer Turkey, Red Russian, Red Winter, Russian, Tauranian, and Worlds Champion (source: Farmers' Bulletin No. 1585 June, 1929 Varieties of Hard Red Winter Wheat)