'Halychanka' (Red Fife) Wheat
Origin: Old Galicia (Ukraine & Poland), via Scotland, via Canada
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~150
Germination tested 11/2023: 50%
Life cycle: Annual or Biennial
'Halychanka' is an old Ukrainian wheat made famous under the name 'Red Fife' by a Canadian farmer named David Fife who first planted it around 1842 near what's now Peterborough, Ontario. Fife had received a few seeds from a friend in Glasgow, Scotland, around 1840. The friend had gotten seeds from a ship fresh from Danzig (modern Gdansk, Poland). Fife planted a handful of seeds in the spring, but since most were winter wheat just a single plant matured. That single plant selection became what we know as 'Red Fife' today. (Some believe 'Red Fife' is distinct from 'Halychanka,' possibly a result of early hybridization in Canada, but there is little evidence to prove this theory and most believe it is merely a selection of 'Halychanka'.) It is also known as Canadian Fife, Fife, Saskatchewan Fife, or Scotch Fife, and has been used to breed other popular bread wheats in North America for over 150 years.
Halychanka/Red Fife is a hard red spring wheat considered superior for milling and bread-baking. It also can be used to make crackers or even pasta.
Our seed came to us from Dusty's friend Kurt Kimber, an organic farmer in Northfield, Minnesota. Kurt is also a member of MN350.