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22 Chestnut and Goats

Wheat or Rye? Research for The Tender Land Scenery

Abby Rodd, Glimmerglass’s Director of Production, and Joel Morain (A/V Coordinator) traveled to The Farmers’ Museum, where Abby did some research on materials for the scenery of our 2010 production of The Tender Land.
The Farmers’ Museum is one of the oldest rural life museums in the country and provides visitors the opportunity to experience 19th-century rural and village life first-hand. The people who work there have a great understanding of the rural heritage that has shaped our land and culture.

 

Abby on her way to meet Farmer Rick and Farmer Wayne

Abby on her way to meet Farmer Rick and Farmer Wayne

The Tender Land follows the story of a farm family, and the scenic design calls for four-foot-tall wheat. Last week, Abby made a call to The Farmers’ Museum for advice. She spoke with Farmer Wayne and discovered that wheat doesn’t actually grow to be four feet tall – rye might be better, he said. He told her to stop by to discuss details.

 

Chatting about rye

Chatting about rye

Abby explained we will probably need 5 by 40 feet of rye to create a backdrop for the set of The Tender Land. Rye is usually planted in the fall, and we are hoping to find rye tall enough for our purposes come June. Farmer Wayne pointed out that the rye might be a little green so early in the summer. Abby said we will have to flame proof the rye anyway, and maybe we can tint the flame proofing material to adjust the color of the rye.

Rye

They had some rye on hand as an example.

Yes, this is about four-feet tall.

Yes, this is about four feet tall.

They also recommended we look into using triticale, which is a hybrid between wheat and rye. It’s a little stiffer, and since we want the grain to stand tall on the set of The Tender Land, it might be better for our purposes, they said. 

L to R: Farmer Rick, Abby and Farmer Wayne

L to R: Farmer Wayne, Abby and Farmer Rick

Joel bonded with Zeb, the museum's Percheron, on the way out.

Joel bonded with Zeb, the museum's Percheron, on the way out.

 (You can read more about Zeb on this blog, written by The Farmers’ Museum’s blacksmith.)

Now to fit the rye in the Subaru.

Now to fit the rye in the Subaru.

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