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Monterey Bay Spice Company

Bulk Herbs & Spices

01.
Wheatgrass: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about wheatgrass

description
Wheatgrass is a food prepared from the cotyledons (first appearing leaves from a germinating seed) of the common wheat plant, Triticum aestivum in the Poaceae family).

Triticum aestivum is an annual grass. Its simple culms grow erect, are hollow or pithy, glabrous, and can reach heights of up to 1.2 meters. The leaves are narrow and flat, around 20–38 cm long and about 1.3 cm broad. These spikes are long, slender, dorsally compressed, and somewhat flattened.

The tough rachis does not separate from spikelet at maturity; and these nearly erect spikelets are 2–5-flowered, relatively far apart on the stem, slightly overlapping, and pressed close to the rachis.

Glumes keeled in upper half, glabrous, firm, and shorter than the lemmas; lemmas are awned or awnless, and less than 1.3 cm long. The palea is as long as the lemma, remaining entire at maturity; caryopsis free-threshing, soft or hard, red or white.

common names & nomenclature
The name wheatgrass is simply because it is the young grass of the common wheat plant.

Also known as:
wheatgrass


02.
Wheatgrass: Where in the World
habitat and range for wheatgrass

Wheatgrass use can be traced back over 5000 years in history, to ancient Egypt and perhaps even early Mesopotamian civilizations. It has been claimed that ancient Egyptians found the young leafy blades of wheat sacred. Triticum aestivum is known only under cultivation— its native origin has been lost. Wheat evolved from wild grasses, most likely somewhere in the Near East.

03.
Wheatgrass: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting wheatgrass

climate
Wheatgrass grows best in mild-to-warm temperatures that are 60 to 75°F (15.6-21.1 °C). Though they will tolerate lower temperatures when the leaves reach about ¼ to ½ inch (0.64 to 1.27 cm) high. Prefers moist (though not water-logged) conditions and indirect sunlight.

soil
For growing wheatgrass, use a basic potting mix or top soil that has about ⅓ peat moss incorporated.

growing
Wheatgrass can be grown indoors or out via seed. For sprout production, wheatgrass is commonly planted indoors on trays in a growth medium—such as a potting mix.

harvesting
Wheatgrass leaves are harvested when a "split" is developed during the emergence of another leaf. The leaves are then trimmed with scissors, which allows a second crop of shoots to form. A third cutting is sometimes possible, but may yield tougher leaves with less sugars than the first cutting. Wheatgrass is consumed fresh as juice, or is dried for later use.

preserving
Store dried wheatgrass powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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