The Wheat of Sainte Barbe’s day

My creche (nativity) is waiting for the wheat of Sainte Barbe.  In Provence, the Christmas season begins on 4 December with Saint Barbara’s Day.  It is on this day that grains of wheat are planted.  Their germination not only represents the trinity but also a prosperous harvest for the following year.  Christmas is about traditions and this is one that truly puts me in the spirit of the season.  You begin by choosing 3 saucers or other small containers. Cover the bottom of each with soft cotton. You can use a sheet of cotton or simply pull apart cotton balls. Then lightly sprinkle the cotton with water. It needs to be wet but don’t drown it. I like to drip the water off the tips of my fingers.

Now, scatter grains of hard wheat over the damp cotton. I purchased my hard wheat from the bins at Earth Fare or Whole Foods.  Farro (spelt) will also work.  Water lightly daily. The grains should germinate in a few days and soon you will have wheat grass.  Sometimes I cheat and plant some saucers Thanksgiving week so that I have the grass at the beginning of the season…but I always do more on Sainte Barbe day in order to have it through the end of the season.

This batch is just getting started…

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