Russian Draft Dodgers Made History…

Spaniards brought wheat to the New World in 1520 and during the 1600’s, English Colonists grew it, or tried to, but it didn’t work out. Thanks to the Mennonites who settled in Pennsylvania, we have a history of wheat being successfully grown in America. Not that other pockets of Colonists didn’t succeed with their wheat fields but unstable weather, storms and pestilence ravaged crops everywhere, including Pennsylvania. But in the 1870’s when Russian immigrants came in great numbers to the Midwest and Oklahoma and Texas, bringing wheat strains from Turkey and the Crimea, we experienced the birth of American wheat. These wheat strains worked well in these states because the climate was similar to that in Turkey and the Crimea. What’s that got to do with draft dodgers? Besides seeking religious freedom, many of these Russians immigrated to avoid joining the military. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973



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