Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Crops Good Enough to Eat!

So here in the Palouse there are a lot of wide open spaces for growing crops other than just wheat. Let's see some of the crops primarily grown around here for feeding people all across the country. This is a field of???.....Austrian Winter Peas.  It is actually a winter crop, planted in the fall.  They are just starting to flower. These field peas are grown for both human and livestock consumption as they are high in protein.  These are grown by Eric Odberg (from yesterday's blog post).
Do you know what kind of winter wheat this is???  It's called Club Wheat.  It is a soft white winter wheat that is mainly used in a blend with other white wheat to make Western White Wheat.  It is sold to Japan and Taiwan for cookies and pastries.  It is used to keep the protein less than 10.5%, which is the way they want it.  (I mean who wants a high protein piece of cake in Tokyo anyway?)  This pic is from one of Eric's fields.
 Here we are looking at another of Eric's multitude of crops.  Now I had never seen this before and only heard of it in a Bud Light commercial several years ago.  Any guesses?
This is the first, and biggest, field of quinoa I had ever seen.  I'm not even sure that I have ever eaten any.  But it is recognized as one of the world's healthiest foods.  And surprisingly it is of the same genus as Lambsquarters (Chenopodium).  Now one of my missions in life has been to kill lambsquarters, one of the worst weeds anywhere.  And now I find that you can eat it's cousin.  Mother Nature is a maaaad scientist.  By the way, do you remember that commercial...where a guy is tailgating before a football game and his wife packed quinoa burgers.  But the last time he ate one, his team he throws it on the grill and has to eat it again.  But he pronounces it all would I if no one told me it's keen-wah.  Incidentally, it is mainly grown in Peru, so help the American quinoa producers by getting some of those burgers.
Now salad bars are sure to have the food produced by this plant.  And as usual, most people have no idea where it comes from.  But it's Garbanzo Beans.  This picture is taken from a rough high-traffic end of the field, but it was raining, so at the time I didn't care to go out further.  This is one of Doug's fields (Doug from earlier blog post.)
It can be a tough crop to grow, so growers will often plant a blend of different varieties shown here. That night at the restaurant in Moscow, Idaho they had a Fried Palouse Garbanzo appetizer.  So of course we had to try it.  I'll just say that Garbanzo beans are best served plain on a salad bar and not cooked or spicey.  But had to try it.
 Here is another crop that is responsible for some good food, especially in soup.  It is another legume.  What is it?
 It's lentils.  I do like them very much myself.  These are some of Doug's and he used some Pro-Germinator and Micro 500 through the drill at planting.  
So that was fun seeing all of those crops that make food that we can eat ourselves, being grown here in such beautiful surroundings.  Hope you enjoyed the gourmet tour.  I will think of these scenes when I see them in the store.