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Wheat weavers tour local farm

Staff writer

Members of the National Association of Wheat Weavers kicked off their “Weaving Friendships” convention with a visit to Matt Voth’s Coyote Gulch wheat farm.

Marian Vavra, tour coordinator for the group, said participants enjoyed everything about their visit to the Goessel-area farm.

While there, the group spent an hour listening to Voth talk about his experiences growing Turkey Red wheat.

“We use a lot of Turkey Red and Larned wheat for weaving, but barley, rye, and some grasses are also used, creating texture and color variations in finished pieces,” Vavra said.

Voth talked about the heritage of his family, purchasing land from the railroad, and growing wheat, corn, and soybeans.

Vavra said the group gained insight into soil conservation techniques, no-till farming, and plant science.

They also enjoyed seeing a portion of the farm that remains unbroken Tallgrass prairie.

After visiting Voth’s farm, the wheat weavers toured the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum. They also visited Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, where Voth acted as guide and the wheat weavers enjoyed Turkey Red wheat bread with freshly made butter.

At Alexanderwohl, Voth discussed the history of Mennonite immigration to Kansas and the reasons behind the immigration. He told the group about Anabaptist beliefs and the role Mennonites play in society.

“Matthew did a wonderful job of telling us about these things,” Vavra said.

Vavra said she became interested in wheat weaving in 1981. Since then, she has created many pieces and has written a book, “Celebrating the Cross,” a collection of wheat-woven crosses with instruction for how to make them.

People attending the convention came from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, and Belarus.

Last modified May 9, 2019

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