Fresh, Local Grains in Central Alberta
About our grain and our grain CSA
We are proud to offer fresh, healthful grain products to our customers in central Alberta.
Our first goal is to provide our customers with grain products of the highest quality while also taking care of the land that we farm. This is one reason why we grow open pollinated varieties using organic management principles for all of our farm crops.
We stone grind all of our flour to prevent the flour from being over heated while we mill it, and we mill as close to the delivery day as possible. This results in the most nutritious and fresh flour possible!
Stone Ground Red Fife Wheat
The wheat that we grow is an heritage variety of hard red spring wheat known as 'Red Fife'. Hard red spring wheat's are best used for making breads and other heavy products, while other wheat's are used to make pastries, pastas and all-purpose flour. Before the high yielding commercial varieties we have today were developed, Red Fife was considered the standard for wheat production on Canadian farms. Unlike the modern varieties of wheat, Red Fife still performs well without having to use synthetic fertilizers and is considered one of the most flavourful varieties of wheat around. This is because Red Fife takes on a unique flavour based on the soil it grows in.
We also use a stone burr mill to grind all of the flour from our farm. Unlike steel burr mills, which heat up drastically during the milling process, the stone burrs maintain a lower temperature that keeps the flour from over heating and losing its nutritional value.
Future Grain Products
We are already planning ahead for our harvest in the summer and fall of 2014. We are taking a step back for now and perfecting our system for working with wheat and rye. We will continue evaluating new crops as they make sense for us.
2013-2014 CSA Grain Share
Our grain CSA program is one of a very few. There are only a couple of other similar programs in North America that we know of, but we are encouraged that it seems to be growing. This sort of CSA program is very different from others, mostly because we only get a one or two month window every year to harvest all of our grains for the year.
In our program, we have to plant a certain number of shares worth of milling grains first thing in the spring, meaning we have to be planning for it and buying all our seed late winter before everything gets started again. Since we grow organically, we don't spray any pesticides in our fields, and have to rely on heavy seeding and good crop rotations to keep weeds under control. We start harvesting our fall seeded crops in September, and usually harvest the spring seeded crops in October. We then spend most of the last half of October getting all the grains cleaned and prepared for us to begin delivering in November. Then we start milling the grains, always close to the delivery day to make sure it is as fresh as possible, and deliver grains every other week throughout the year, right up until the month before the next share programs deliveries start again. We also divide the harvest by the amount we get in from the field, not by the value of it. This means that in our better growing years, the amount of grain you receive for the same share can be much higher. We keep back only enough to seed again the next year along with enough for us to keep our family fed. Otherwise, one share equals as much as we can grow on about 2500 square feet of land.
We take a deposit to secure your membership in our program when you sign up early in the year, and this helps cover our initial costs of growing the grains. We very much appreciate the confidence that our customers show us by committing to a share of our harvest so far in advance.
The deposit is $25 for a 12 month share and $15 for a six month share. The final cost of a 12 month share is $100, deposit included or $60 final for the six month share.