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AgEducation- Life below the snow

Winter mystery

In our December blog, we learned what grain farmers do in the winter. Have you or your students ever wondered what happens in the ground during the winter, under the snow?

We learned from Good in Every Grain’s Draw With Rob activities that there is plenty of life below our feet. Surprise! Soil microbes—the bacteria and fungi so important to soil health—live in the soil year-round. During warm weather, they break down organic matter in the soil, including carbon. Recent studies show they continue that work even when the ground is frozen, though more slowly, and become more active in spring.

Learn more with Draw With Rob below:

On Ontario grain farms, winter wheat, which is planted in the fall, needs exposure to cold weather to produce a wheat head with kernels. Flour made from hard winter wheat has more gluten protein and is excellent for yeast breads. Soft winter wheat has more starch and less gluten than hard wheat and its flour is best for cakes and pastries. Ontario grows different types of wheat, that can be used to make different food items – learn more here.

Winter wheat growing in snow covered soil.
Snow covered ground where winter wheat is growing.

With February being heart month, it’s a great time to explore the types of flour available to create some heart-healthy treats!