Buckwheat Farms of Manitoba
In my 43 years in Canada, I would like to share my first and humbling experience to visit Canada's buckwheat farms in Manitoba. I met Ukrainian farmers from different areas of the Manitoba prairies that grows buckwheat every year for at least 4 generations.
Imagine 80°C - 90°C temperatures, some haze caused by smoke from forest fires, and no rain -- that is Manitoba's general environment outlook. The visit was done on the later part of July 2021 with the field on the photo shown below was taken with buckwheat planted about 120 days into the season and buckwheat seedlings (photo above) were just starting to sprout with bees hovering from one buckwheat flower to another.
On another field, I was given a 2 minute lesson of the buckwheat root system (shown on video) why it survives during periods of drought, hot weather, and very little or no rain compared to other crops that is negatively affected.
Farmers often plant a variety of crops with hopes that every year will provide a great harvest assuming weather conditions will provide a balance of sunshine and rain. Unfortunately, with climate change and unpredictable weather patterns we experience these days, I felt that it is like a roll-of-dice to determine if the harvest will be plentiful for each year.
On another farm, I was taken to a field that is almost 100 acres that had young buckwheat planted late into the season, about 6 inches in height, and is just 4 weeks old (photo below) .
Farmers love buckwheat as it grows fast, very hardy, requires less agriculture inputs, grows on poor soil, and replenishes the soil for the next crop. What that means for farmers is that there is minimal out-of-pocket investment that has a high chance of a paying-off in spite of extreme weather.
The next stop was at a family-owned grain elevator where most grains like buckwheat, oats, canola, peas, and sunflower are temporarily stored until ready for transport to another location for further processing.
I brought some of our BUCK Original Milk and BUCK Chocolate Milk and shared them with a few buckwheat farmers and they were all very excited of the unique and bold innovation of Saint Michael Foods on BUCK™ to grow the market and use of buckwheat.
Buckwheat is grown in the Canadian prairies between the months of March through Septenber mostly in parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Other countries that grow buckwheat include USA, Russia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Brazil.