Filed under: project updates, wheat growing | Tags: amtrak, dark northern spring wheat, durum wheat, empire builder, hard red spring wheat, montana, north dakota, train, wheat, wheat growing
Well, it’s good to finally be here. I have been thinking about you for months now, and don’t worry, I’ll have plenty to say about you as the weeks roll on. But first I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the remote, the hinterlands…
I took the train out here, and in all the hectic preparations for leaving town I forgot that it goes straight through wheat country – Montana and North Dakota. Rob and I have always taken this trip in the wintertime where it is grey and white and brown. It’s beautiful in its starkness, but it was so exciting to see green trees and fields this time. Better yet, I’m making this trip at least two more times – probably three – over the rest of the summer and fall, so I’ll get to see everything grow and change. I grew up in corn / soy fields, so all of it will be new to me.
Judging from the extent of the growth and how far north it was, what I saw was likely dark northern spring wheat (AKA hard red spring wheat), which is sown in the spring. It could have also been durum wheat (used for pasta) which has a similar growing season (see maps here and here).