RISING UP

All around me. In all four cardinal directions – but nothing to do with the sins – the wheat is sprouting. Struck. Rising up! Wheat is a hardy grass. Some varieties are sown just before the cold really hits yet are strong enough to weather the horrible winter and return in the spring. No wonder it is good to eat!

I know now that there are many different varieties. But in our fields we have Warthog wheat sown on one side and Frederick wheat on the other. Frederick is a soft white winter wheat and Warthog is a hard red winter wheat.

Warthog is milled into our All Purpose flour and Frederick is for cakes and muffins and pancakes and things like that.

Both are sown in the Autumn. Then around February the red clover is sown in with the dormant wheat and in the spring they sprout again together. The wheat already established; it leaps forward leaving the red clover to grow low as a cover crop, to retard the weeds. Once the wheat is out the cows are allowed to graze the clover cover crop for a while, before it is turned in, as a green compost and the next crop is sown.

That is in a perfect organic world anyway!

Stage One is underway!

Though neither of these wheats will produce a high protein bread flour, ( above is half mackinaw and half calumet – 100% whole kernel – my new favourite)! The Little Red Hen ( who is me!), is happy!

I can’t believe that I have eaten bread all my life (and I come from New Zealand, bread really is a staple in our diets in New Zealand) – but I never ever asked myself what the wheat was that is in our bread. I just thought wheat was wheat!

Now, as you know, you and I are off again to New Zealand in January. I have been looking hard for a small stone ground mill in New Zealand, small like ours here in Illinois, to talk to and tour and maybe spend a few days volunteering in, while I am home and look what my family found for me. In New Zealand.

Stone ground in this new windmill. (2 kg is about 4 pound).

Just 90 minutes from Wellington. I am going to rent a little rinky-dink rent-a- dent ( that’s what my family calls a rental car) and drive over to Foxton to visit with these millers. I am going to email them today and see what they are about.

This is the first little stone ground mill I have found in New Zealand. I wonder if their stones are as new as the windmill- this is all very exciting. Kind of new – about fifteen years old I think. I hope it is not too touristy. More to come!

I hope your day goes well.

Celi

27 Comments on “RISING UP

  1. Beautiful pictures !!!!!

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  2. yes to to me wheat is just wheat … although obviously I know there’s a different between cake flour and bread flour
    roughly how many different varieties are there?

    • Ooo, that’s a very difficult question to answer, CazinaTutu. I found a link on the Agriculture Canada website to a study of ‘Bioactive components and antioxidant capacity of Ontario hard and soft wheat varieties’ from The Canadian Journal of Plant Science, where their results were taken from “21 wheat varieties obtained from different locations in Ontario”… Ontario is only one of the ten Provinces and three Territories that make up Canada, and Canada is only the top section of North America. I cannot imagine how many different types of wheat there are growing all around our beautiful planet Earth; )
      If Celi allows and anyone else would be interested in seeing the (very short) Abstract on the health benefits of eating Wheat (with link to the full, original article) here: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/abstract/publication?id=24179000000003

  3. I buy Odlum’s Wholemeal coarse from Ireland at Amazon. Not a hint of bitterness and it makes whole grain bread that doesn’t taste like it’s whole grain. I wish a mill in the US would sell something similar because it’s expensive to buy due to the shipping expense added in. Do you think your mill has anything similar?

  4. Lovely bread! I’ve just been down to the St. John for mine. The whole place is booked for a wedding today – there are hundreds of flowers everywhere.

  5. Celi – it is absolutely wonderful to see you thriving and learning and planning in a new but satisfying milieu! And being interested in the manners and mores of this new passion back home. I do hope the mill near Wellington gives some positive ideas . . . lady, I can see the wheels turning in your head and am keeping my fingers crossed. Will be lovely to have you back home so soon . . . best . . .

  6. The Foxton mill is fascinating. We ended up going there unplanned one time, otherwise I don’t know if we would have stopped. We had planned to go to Wellington for the day but there was an accident on the main highway and traffic was banked up for miles… so we pulled off in Foxton instead, to see what we could see. And we found the mill. Unfortunately they weren’t grinding when we were there, but still very interesting to see how it’s done! And nice to know that some things are still done the old way, which I think is better for us. I just had a look at their website and it seems they do online sales, I will have to check it out. I hadn’t thought of them again since we went!

    • Should also mention Farmers Mill in Timaru? If you are going to the South Island you might like to check them out. They grow and mill their own grains, including specialty grains. There is no mention of organic, but you might be interested in checking them out?

  7. When I was a teenager, we moved to the midwest, away from the amazing east coast Bagels. (we lived in CT) I couldn’t understand why the bagels tasted different. Then the local bagel shop explained it to me. Different wheat. Wheat, at least 25 years ago when this was explained to me, was still relatively local for commercial use. East coast growers were using a different variety than Ohio growers. Huh. Who knew it TASTED so different?
    That’s when I started to realize food is so much more complex and interesting than most of us think.

  8. Wow!! That’s so very interesting! I always just thought wheat was wheat too (I was thinking it as reading, and then you said the exact words haha!) Thanks for sharing.
    That windmill is gorgeous! Wonder if we have any small stone ground mills here in Oz … 🤔🤔 Have a wonderful day 💖

  9. Poor bread. When did this staff of life become so vilified? I can think of nothing better than a lovely loaf made with excellent wheat. Just add some proper butter no rubbish.

  10. That’s a very faithful replica of a traditional Dutch windmill. I should know, I’ve been trailed around enough of them as a child visiting rellies in Holland. They’ve obviously done a bit of re-engineering, as windmills in Holland were *mostly* to pump water and keep the reclaimed fields below sea-level dry. There are still a good few working windmills in the UK; we used to buy our stoneground flour from Wilton Windmill, only about 15 miles away. What the photos don’t give you is the incredible aroma inside a mill, and the amazing sifted light inside from the inevitable fine haze of flour in the air. (I hope you were wearing ear protection when you took that little IG video, the noise was sensational!)

    • I don’t wear ear protection – in fact the sounds of the mill tell us a lot about what is going on. It is not too too loud. Plus it has a vacuum system so we don’t have flour in the air. Which is good

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