University of Vermont Extension began its heirloom spring wheat project in 2007 to determine whether heirloom varieties developed before 1950 could thrive in Vermont’s climate. Many consumers are interested in heirloom wheat as they feel it has better flavor, while many farmers are also interested in heirloom wheat varieties as they may have superior genetics that are better adapted to the challenging growing conditions in the Northeast. This variety trial was established to determine which heirloom spring wheat varieties are viable in Vermont’s growing conditions. Three Vermont heirloom varieties have been re-introduced through this project. Defiance, Champlain and Surprise were developed by famed Vermont plant breeder, Cyrus Pringle during the late 1800s. In addition to the heirloom varieties, AC Barrie and Scarlet, modern spring wheat varieties commonly grown in the Northeast, were planted as a comparison.


Vermont, University of Vermont

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