Amber Waves of Grain

June 08, 2012 | 2:06 pm

Every fall, the wheat farmer enters planting season with great optimism. He has prepared the soil for planting; chosen seeds that have been bred to withstand disease and insects; fertilized with the precise amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; and then waits to see what the weather holds. This year’s harvest exceeds last year’s harvest, as the winter months provided adequate moisture. It is projected that our American farmers will harvest over two billion bushels of wheat this year. Which is good news for the American consumer; bread will remain on the grocery store shelves.

Picture taken by my friend and fellow gardener, Angie Webber.

Bread on the table ready to eat,

How do we get it from a grain of wheat?

The farmer plants the seeds in the ground,

The sun comes up and the rain comes down.

Bread on the table ready to eat,

How do we get it from a grain of wheat?

The wheat is crushed by the mill wheel’s power

Which grinds the grain into soft white flour.

Bread on the table ready to eat,

How do we get it from a grain of wheat?

The baker makes the flour into dough

Then puts it in the oven ‘til it cooks just so.

Bread on the table ready to eat,

That’s how we get it from a grain of wheat!

 

The wheat also calls out to photographers; wheat harvest pictures cover my Facebook page. The pictures share a story of a family business, a story of American agriculture, a story of passion.

The first set of pictures were posted by my bible study buddy, Kiley Miller. She farms with her husband and two young boys near Valley Center, KS. Kiley said that the wheat harvest is especially special to her as she recalls helping her dad and granddad as a child. Now the tradition continues as her two boy sit beside their daddy in the combine.

Carrie Claassen, a 4-H friend of ours, posted the next group of photos. Carrie and her husband, Gary, are 4th generation farmers near Whitewater, KS. Carrie said, “I like to take pictures of the harvest because it is a great time to capture the moment of a job well done. This year the wheat is gorgeous considering the conditions we had to endure last year. There wasn’t much to take pictures of last year.”

If you would like to follow and interact with the wheat harvest, check out All Aboard Harvest.  The site contains blog entries from custom wheat-harvesting families and crews as their combines run through America’s Wheat Belt, with harvesting stops scheduled in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. One look at the pictures and you just might start singing, “O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain.”