Marquis Wheat

1900 to 1949
Ottawa, Ontario
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What does a good set of teeth have to do with growing wheat? Back in 1903, Charles Saunders headed up grain research at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. He sometimes used his teeth for a mill and his mouth for an oven, chewing wheat grains into dough to determine their flour and bread quality. Saunders cross-bred wheat varieties from Eastern Europe and India to create a hybrid that would thrive in Canadian conditions. His crowning achievement, Marquis wheat, dominated the prairies due to its short growing season and resistance to disease.