A Fountain of Information
Wednesday 14th of September 2011 08:11 AM
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
It's the best thing since sliced bread. (Bet you didn't know sliced bread was made possible after Iowa inventor Otto Rohwedder introduced his bread slicing machine in 1928.)
Kansas State fairgoers can find out that little tidbit and see the wheat fountain at the Kansas Wheat exhibit in the Pride of Kansas building. The wheat fountain is back this year after a 40-plus-year hiatus. It debuted at the state fair in the 1960s and then was used to promote wheat at other functions and fairs.
The fountain was rediscovered at a storage room in the state fair's grandstand earlier this year. Kansas Wheat refurbished it to help celebrate Kansas' 150th birthday.
The fountain is housed in a large wooden box filled with 600 pounds of wheat. An auger in the middle of the box pulls the kernels from the bottom up and they flow out its top like a fountain. Gravity continues to pull wheat kernels to the bottom of the box to start the process over. They added a little mineral oil to try to keep the wheat dust under control.
It's been a conversation starter for people who visit the Kansas Wheat booth. Randy worked at the booth last Friday, the opening day of the fair. He talked to people about wheat while I judged chocolate cakes. I guess both our jobs involved wheat, in one way or another.
Here are some "kernels" from the timeline at the booth: