Monday, January 30, 2012

bread...the staff of life

A fine loaf of sourdough from one of our great customers
"{bread} contains more nutrients per weight than meat, milk, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables (Thomas, 1976)."

An interesting article from McGill University on bread and cereal grains. This is a must read for those who are interested in human nutrition and grains. This information, combined with Dr. Davis' book Wheat Belly, confirm in my mind the need for better education on modern wheat varieties and how they are poisoning us and the absolute need to revert back to the older, heritage varieties of grains.

Friday, January 13, 2012

a discussion on organics

I had a visit last week at market from an Agronomist who used to work for Monsanto. She said that she doesn't like the company anymore, but she still wouldn't agree with me on some of my points regarding the benefits of organics and the issue of modern wheat varieties causing our modern dietary sensitivities. I have to truly wonder if she isn't still brainwashed by the company she claims not to respect any longer? Hmmm. Anyway, she went on arguing with me on my points regarding modern wheat varieties. Once she started losing that argument, she started in about certain studies she was aware of and whether or not organic agriculture has increased nutrition over conventional, chemical based farming.

I don't mind people disagreeing with me...when they're correct. One thing I cannot stand is uninformed or ignorant opinions. Opinions that lack common sense. Come at me with a point that makes sense and it is probably the right opinion. Here's an example of some of the criteria I use to form my opinions. Usually in the form of I'll pose some questions to you.

What makes more sense to you?
Organic agriculture is in fact more nutritious because the practice of organics involves the increased health of the soil...micronutrients and microbiology. OR...modern, chemical agriculture produces more nutritious food because it simply injects P, K and N in the form of petroleum based fertilizer and soil-sterilizing Ammonia? 

Which statement makes more sense to you?
Humans have de-evolved in the past 20 years to the point where many of us can no longer safely digest grains and certain nuts. OR
Certain grains and nuts have been biologically changed through intensive breeding practices and chemical and genetic intervention to the point where our bodies can no longer safely digest them?

Don't talk to me about the effectiveness and correctness of certain studies either. We are all aware that any study and almost any statistics can be manipulated to say what we desire them to say. Which study would an intelligent person, concerned about their health and family's well being choose to believe?
A study sponsored by a huge, multi-national corporation with a team of lawyers and scientists at their disposal? OR
A study sponsored by a relatively small University or industry based organization, likely regional, but certainly independent?

People are afraid to believe something other than what they already believe. I do not understand that fear. What if I am wrong about my views on the world? How would my world be negatively effected if somebody more intelligent than I came up to me and made a series of points that made me understand the errors of my ways? Wouldn't that be a good thing? Shouldn't we all wish for that sort of enlightenment? 

While I will always consider the source and choose to form my opinions based on common sense and independent studies, I will always seek out opposing viewpoints and have an open mind. By all means...give me an argument. Just don't be wrong about it.  Comments?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

spelt waffles

We enjoyed my new Waffle Iron this morning. It was a Christmas gift to me by my wife Cindy. One of those gifts that had my name on it, but wasn't really for me! So, for the first time, I hauled it out and came across this recipe for waffles. The only substitutions I made was our fresh milled Spelt Flour and the Vanilla we purchased on our recent trip to Mexico. It is a clear vanilla, organic and aged...wonderful!

The waffles turned out spectacular! A very successful recipe and a great way to use Gold Forest Spelt Flour!

My camera went missing recently so you'll have to take my word for it that these waffles came out golden brown and perfect! The waffle iron is by Cuisinart as pictured.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

"Park" wheat - our heritage variety

Over the years, we have found that the Park variety of wheat has been the most successful for us in our organic rotation. Park is a heritage variety that was finally released to the public in 1963. It has a lineage of parents that go back directly to North America's first commercial wheat "Red Fife".

Park Wheat - 1963 from "Thatcher"
Thatcher - 1935 from "Marquis" and a Durum variety (maybe this is why Park makes such great pasta?)
Marquis - 1910 from "Red Fife" and "Hard Red Calcutta"
Red Fife - 1885 See a bit of it's history in my video below.

We have grown several different varieties of wheat over the years. Our professional bakers have always been our best source of information as to the actual baking qualities of different wheats. Park Wheat flour from our farm is currently being used exclusively in Bon Ton Bakery's Heritage Whole Wheat loaf and other select products in their store.

This is the same wheat that my Grandfather grew in the 60's and 70's and today it produces as well as it did then. Park is our main wheat variety and as a heritage variety, we'll protect it for future generations to enjoy.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

back to business

Now that we are back from our little Christmas holiday with friends in Mexico, I feel re-energized and fresh. Time to start thinking of ways to expand our farm product sales and make things more efficient. In the coming weeks, we will be hiring some farm help in order to help me stay caught up with orders. Our milling building, while functional, still needs some fine-tuning and minor carpentry work.

We are also going to be working on our booth at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market. Some of you have noticed our new display stand that we purchased from TR Greenhouses, now we will work on some better signage and display items to further enhance our presence there. One of the things we are working on is a farm video that will play during the market showing some of our farming activities. Lots to do.

We are really looking forward to 2012. We will continue to work hard at finishing our farm yard and house projects along with growing the flour business. I hope you will continue to follow along!