Believe it or not folks, the wheat harvesting season for 2014’s Passover matzah has already begun! On June 28th an article was printed in the New York Times about a segment of ultra-orthodox Jews from New York who have just begun their round-the-clock, seven-week watch over wheat fields in Arizona, merely miles from the Mexican border. Why are they doing this? To make Shmura Matzah (meaning “watched,” or “guarded” in Hebrew) it is imperative that the wheat used to make the flour not come into contact with moisture of any kind. (Starting this October, this very flour will be used to bake the matzahs for next Passover.) The reason that they have set their eyes on these particular fields in the southwest is because the consistently arid climate (with little or no rainfall) makes it more reliable for a perfectly dry grain, which means greater assurance that natural fermentation or sprouting has not occurred. Standards are even higher these days making it even more competitive to produce the holiest of matzahs.