Episode 305   addthis

Surprising though it may seem, May and June can be harvest time in the Heartland.  That’s when some wheat farmers harvest their winter crop.  We meet one Oklahoma farmer who shows us how it’s done and why timing is crucial. Then, we visit a giant grain mill and elevator in North Dakota to see how a harvest goes from field to flour. We visit an upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant where all the ingredients are coming fresh from the farm, then head to a landmark Florida fresh fruit and vegetable stand with a most unusual name: Robert is Here! Finally, a surprising New Mexico crop, peanuts, is turned into a specialty product by a nearby entrepreneur.

Winter Wheat HarvestWinter Wheat Harvest
What sort of farmer plants his fields in the fall, frets about the cold, then prays for snow so his crop can survive? The answer – a Heartland farmer growing “winter wheat.” Of all the varieties of wheat, the grain that lies dormant in the ground through a northern winter is the one that reaches bread-baking perfection at summer harvest time.



From Field to Flour From Field to Flour
You’d expect a state that grows a quarter-billion bushels of wheat each year to have a Goliath-sized milling operation. The North Dakota Mill & Elevator in Grand Forks is a marvel of modern agricultural complexity and efficiency. It makes its owners proud, and through an unusual twist of history, those owners happen to be all the people of North Dakota. 


From Field To Table From Field To Table
Like the citizen-owners of North Dakota Mill & Elevator, that state’s farmers have proven to be pretty innovative in the matter of squeezing extra profit from their products. But they may have hit their high point a few years back, when one group opened a restaurant promoting their cause and their products among the hungry power elite of Washington, D.C.


Robert is Here Robert is Here
There are few images more basic or poignant in Heartland lore than a youngster peddling his or her produce under a handwritten sign. But when that youngster sticks with the stand year after year and grows it into a thriving market and tourist attraction, that’s a little more unusual. We found one such character in Florida City, Florida.


The Shell Game The Shell Game
America’s Heartland wraps up this episode with a visit to New Mexico, famous for its peanuts?But like so many of the Heartland’s products, peanuts come in a surprising variety of shapes and sizes, and favor a broad range of soils and climates. Southwestern entrepeneurs of the great “goober” found that some of the tastiest grow right at home.


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