Nonproprietary / Public
Sonora, a soft white landrace wheat, has a history here in the Southwestern United States, because it is a variety grown early by the agricultural Native Americans in Mexico. They used it to make their whole wheat tortillas, and apparently liked the way it could be ground to a whole wheat flour on their metate. Sonora wheat might be the very first wheat successfully introduced onto the American continent soon after Columbus’s famous journey of discovery in 1492. It was grown in the Southwest continuously until about 1960.
Sonora wheat has been well tried here in California since it was first grown again in the early 1990s. Yields vary from barely 500 to 3,500 pounds per acre, according to the soil fertility and drainage, extent of fertilization and the winter rainfall. So far the seed has been kept satisfactorily pure, despite some mixing at times when farmers were growing more than one variety of wheat on their farms. We continue to work with the farmers on the quality control and identity preservation of our seed. The market is open for direct marketing by growers at local farmers markets, through community supported agriculture projects, wholesale to grocery markets, and directly to miller, bakers of whole wheat breads, pasta makers and noodle makers. The very light color of the whole wheat flour makes it ideal for all kinds of baked goods that have for over 125 years, been made with refined flour. Farmers are encouraged to work for the high protein level of 15% because the breads made will be extraordinarily desirable, and bakers should expect to pay a significant premium for such wheat. The Sonora wheat dough and final bread texture is refreshingly different to that experienced with hard red wheat varieties. A pleasing open bread cell structure is achievable, but with a shortness of crust that is welcomed by the eater. Bakers, chefs and home bakers are invited to use the formulations available on the website: The Whole Grain Connection. Sonora is particularly good for making whole wheat pasta. Dried pasta from Sonora wheat is very quick cooking.
*Lab data below is an average from 2019 harvest