Master Gardener Dana Morgan led the 4th graders at WISH Elementary Charter School through a garden project she designed to introduce students to growing, harvesting and milling wheat. White Sonora wheat was planted because it fits well into the 4th grade California history curriculum. Sonora wheat was brought to California by the Spanish and became a major California crop during the mid-1800s, feeding the Civil War troops. Sonora, a soft white wheat, is also one of the oldest surviving wheat varieties anywhere in North American, and is drought tolerant.
In November, the three 4th grade classes planted the wheat seeds. They monitored the growth periodically through the winter, harvested the wheat in late May, and were able to thresh, winnow, and hand mill some of the wheat they grew. They especially enjoyed tasting Sonora shortbread cookies and sourdough bread baked by Dana.