Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Farmers Market Questions

As you can imagine I get a lot of questions about our products during the farmers markets we attend. The number one question is always "Do you have anything that is Gluten Free?". Now, this is obviously important to many people and there is a huge amount of misinformation about it. People are passionate about diets and food ideas, as they should be, but like all things that people are passionate about, sometimes the truth is slightly different from perception.

Much in the same way that people needed to stop saying "I am going Ski-dooing" they also need to stop saying "gluten free". What they really ought to be saying is "modern wheat gluten free".

Gluten is present in almost all grass-family grains including barley, rye, oats and spelt. The difference is that these complex proteins are not typically associated with our modern Gluten phobia. People suffering from Celiac disease react violently to these proteins, but there are a growing number of people who are reacting to modern wheat proteins and not the other types of gluten. Why is this? Because the only grass-type grain that has been genetically manipulated by the modern plant breeding industry is wheat. There are also a growing number of studies on this phenomena and the most obvious one is the book Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis. If you want the interesting details of what I'm talking about, read his book. It is a great book.

So, here is the answer to the question "do we have anything gluten free?". The answer is, it depends on if you are a diagnosed Celiac or not. The vast majority of our customers with modern wheat gluten sensitivity report back to us not only on how great our products taste, but how good it makes them feel. Insoluble fibre, lacking from every other diet on earth that doesn't include grains, is absolutely necessary to whole health in human beings. We've been eating it for eons. Why do our customers with wheat sensitivity love our products? Because we only grow heirloom and ancient species of wheat. Wheat does not easily cross either...plants need to be practically touching before they will cross pollinate. So, our wheats are purely old, organically grown, and full of health and great taste. 

I hope this helps a bit with your gluten questions.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Busier than normal Fall

The past few weeks have been a blur. We are still basically setting up our business all the while operating it, and farming, and fathering. It is a Fall worth remembering for what we've accomplished, but it has been stressful and busy beyond belief.

Our milling building is nearing completion as far as being ready to accept new bagging equipment. We are also planning to renovate our mills for increased efficiency. Right now we are having to re-load the mills 40lbs at a time and I would like it if we could simply pour the amount of wheat that we need to mill and walk away. New hoppers on top of the stone mills will solve that problem. We've achieved our Food Safety grant, that was good news. Now we have a little help purchasing new bagging, mixing equipment along with some new bins and other infrastructure.

A view of the yard from our brand new grain bin
The harvest for 2012 is one I'd as soon forget. This past summer was simply too much rain, too much wind and too much hail. Yields were down as much as 80% in some fields due to flooding and then a late August hail storm. What wheat we did harvest appears to be very good quality. The protein is great and the appearance is as beautiful as ever. Looking forward to baking with it for sure. Still to harvest, after a killing frost, is the oats and the flax. We need the frost to kill the underseeded Red Clover. Once that happens, we'll have the ability to straight cut the crops with the combine and then use the grain drier before we store the crops. Again, the weather has been great, but we usually have a good frost in early to mid September. What a year we've had!
combining wheat
Looking back on mistakes made, some small successes, some advances made and hope that what we've accomplished this year will pay dividends in 2013.