Let's grow some Wheat!
Hearing that phrase probably first conjures a beautiful image of hundreds of acres of golden wheat, waving in the breeze. But the large scale equipment demands associated with this field farming image most likely then discourages the small scale garden farmer from growing grains. We're here to re-assure you, the home gardener, that not only is it indeed possible to successfully grow grains on a small-scale, it is quite rewarding with so many varieties and uses from which to choose.
For the home garden scale, let's think of a 5 ft by 20 ft plot. Depending on factors such as soil condition and variety of wheat planted, it is reasonable to harvest between 5 to 12 pounds of wheat seeds (berries) from this 100 square foot plot. An assumed yield of 8 pound equates to roughly 28 cups of wheat berries. We cook whole wheat berries for a meal's side dish using half a cup of grain which since it expands when cooked is plenty for two meal servings with some set aside for an additional leftover packet. So, your 5 ft by 20 ft field just provided a nutritious side dish to one meal per week for a year for a family of two.Here are two such small plots of ours:
Although we offer packets larger than 50 seeds of a few varieties, most of the varieties are the smaller sized packets. This allows you to develop a seed stock adapted to your growing conditions that is then used in a following season to increase production. It also allows you to perhaps try more than one variety in a season. (Keep in mind wheat can cross-pollinate through touch, so be sure to space varieties appropriately.)
Using the 50 seed example, spacing seeds 9 inches apart in rows 9 inches apart results in 28 square feet planted. With careful tending and under ideal conditions, each of those seeds will yield you roughly 300 seeds (or more), which means the following year you could plant 168 square feet.
A search on Youtube using keywords 'grow heirloom wheat' provides several training examples. I also plan a few pages on the planting and processing steps. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to email any questions.