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I spent this past summer trudging through six-mile treks each weekend with two good friends.
We walked along the edge of wheat fields outside of town.
My friends and I qualify as middle-aged ladies, so the walks counted as significant exercise — sad but true.
One of the interesting things about the walks was simply observing the growth and ripening of the wheat fields by which we passed.
We depend on wheat for bread, pasta, animal feed, noodles and perhaps most importantly — fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.
Watching a whole field of wheat grow up, turn from green to gold, and finally be harvested is a magical production that never grows old, at least for us hayseeds.
In the old days wheat grew tall, some of it to a height of six feet.
But around the time I was born, wheat researchers launched the “Green Revolution” that created wheat with much shorter stature.
That was important because it meant farmers could pour on as much fertilizer and water as they were able without leading to wheat so tall it would topple over.
In total, the Green Revolution roughly doubled the amount of wheat available worldwide, quite an accomplishment but one of the truly astounding aspects of technical progress to which we adapt so quickly we soon take it for granted.
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