Lina Island wheat crop doing well

  • Aug. 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

by Alex Rinfret–This year’s colder-than-usual summer weather hasn’t affected George Pattison’s small wheat crop, which is flourishing and should be ready for harvest by the end of the month. Dr. Pattison said he has been pleasantly surprised by the growth of the Hard Red Spring wheat, which he planted in his garden near Lina Island on May 7. Three months later, the stalks are now about one metre tall with fat green kernels of grain forming at their tops. “It came up rapidly,” he said. “The thing is, our days are so long here in the summer, even on a dull day it’s getting many hours of sunshine.” Wheat does not need a lot of heat the way some crops like tomatoes do, Dr. Pattison said, although it can’t be grown successfully in far northern latitudes. But the climate on the Charlottes is the same as that in many western European countries which grow wheat, he said. Dr. Pattison grew a small patch of wheat in his island garden about 30 years ago but hasn’t grown any since then. He planted the crop again this year because he had just bought a rototiller. As food and fuel prices continue to rise there has been lots of interest in locally-grown food, and Dr. Pattison knows of several island gardeners who are growing first-time wheat crops this year. A first for Dr. Pattison is a couple of flattened patches in the middle of his wheat field which look like mysterious crop circles. He said they first appeared about three weeks ago and he had no idea what had caused them, although he later caught his dog romping in the field and now suspects that the crop circles may have a canine cause. Dr. Pattison plans to harvest the wheat with a scythe or sickle, but is not yet sure how he will separate the wheat kernels from the stalks, a process called threshing. He applied to the Gwaii Trust for funding to buy a threshing machine for the islands but hasn’t heard back. He is now planning to bring all the wheat to the Queen Charlotte ball park this September or October for a threshing party – all islanders and their ideas welcome.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southern section of QC Main temporarily closing this month

QC Main (South) will be closed to all traffic at about 5 kilometres from July 21 to 28

From the archives of the Haida Gwaii Observer

50 YEARS AGO (1970): Nine of 12 entries in the Beach Buggy… Continue reading

BC Ferries reopens limited hot food service between Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert

Release on July 8 says hot food will be served in packaging

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

UPDATE: Masset anti-racism rally postponed

The Yahk’ii event, which means ‘truth’ in Haida, will be rescheduled at a later date

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read