Acadian spring wheat (Triticum aestivum)
“Acadia is a wheat that was developed from a selection made in 1937 at the Experimental Farm in Indian Head, Saskatchewan," according to Jennifer Scott (OACC, 200). "It was grown in tests in Eastern Canada starting in 1942 and recommended for licence in 1951 as ‘a wheat for use in Eastern Canada’where it was a consistently high yielder showing remarkably good strength and vigour of growth… According to the old research station reports, Acadia and Selkirk were the most prominent bread wheats grown in the Maritimes in the 1950s. This was a time when the Maritimes were much more self-sufficient in wheat production.”
Crop description: Spring wheat about 18-inches tall with heavy head.
Growing: Broadcast as early as possible in spring in a bed free from perennial weeds. The wheat should be able to compete with most annual weeds. For the best quality bread wheat, harvest when the stems are still slightly green and let dry in a stook in the field.
Seedsaving: Let some plants mature fully in the field and save for seed.
Culinary uses: Bread wheat.
Traditional Acadian black or sarassin (Fagopyrum esculentum)
History: Buckwheat was an integral part of the diet of the first French settlers in early 1600s.
Culinary uses: Traditionally, buckwheat was ground into flour and made into pancakes called ployes. The leavening was provided by natural fermentation of the batter, similar to sourdough bread.
Crop description: Short plant, only about a foot tall, with smaller leaves, height and seed than common buckwheat. The flowers attract bees. Seed is olive-green.
Growing: Broadcast after the threat of spring frost has passed. Buckwheat competes well with weeds and has no serious pest problems.
Seedsaving: Isolate from common buckwheat. Note this can be challenging if buckwheat has been grown as a green manure in previous years. Buckwheat self-seeds readily and the volunteers can cross-pollinate the Acadian buckwheat. If there is a risk of this, rogue the field for tall plants with large leaves.