Transitioning to a workers co-op!

the grain found a dry home

the grain found a dry home

Breaking News: Kevin Bodle and Janiece Black are joining the team! We are forming a worker’s co-operative here on Ebey’s Prairie. Putting the culture back into agriculture. Together we will be selling organic heritage grains, such as the delicious and very popular purple barley from the 2012 crop. We also have some heritage wheats, chicken feed and cover crops for sale. Soon we will be preparing the fields for the next crops. Hmmm. What shall we grow this year…..

loading the truck

loading the truck

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Cracked Cereals – Breakfast Choice

These local grains are very popular in their cracked form. They cook faster and are a delicious, nutritious way to start the day, whether you call it hot cereal, porridge, or grits. It’s a very enjoyable alternative to oatmeal. Try it soon!

crack purple barley

Recipe for Cracked Grains - Purple Barley / Khorasan Wheat.

Serves 4 medium portions

1 cup cracked grain, single variety or mixed

3 cups water

1 cup milk (cow, goat, hazelnut, almond or…..)

Put the grain in a saucepan with water on high heat to bring it to a boil, then simmer and stir for at least 10 minutes, you can vary the liquid consistency according to your taste and preference. Then you can ‘doctor’ the porridge with your favorite ingredients. Some of my favorites:

1 tbs hard coconut cream

1 tsp maple syrup

drops of vanilla

pinch of salt

or

add whatever nuts, seeds, & fruit you like….

I like coconut flakes, pomegranate & chia seeds – yummy.

A friend made the barley porridge with a splash of port, cardamom spice, honey and salt. It really worked! Experiment and feel free to post successful recipes here.  Available ingredients in February:

2 lbs cracked purple barley – $8

2 lbs cracked kamut – $8

2 lbs cracked red hard spring wheat – $6

 

Seattle U district Market Saturdays 9-2

West Seattle Farmers Market Sundays 10-2

Rosehip Farm Shop, Coupeville

Cell. 202 256 0915 for inquiries.

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planting winter grains

bob engel jr, speeding!

My neighbor, bless him, came over at 4pm last Friday to plant 2.5 acres of winter grain. He grew up driving tractors here on the prairie, and he knows what he’s doing. I get to ride on the back of the grain drill, and watch the seeds go into their furrows. This is very fun.

georgina, hanging on, under the moon

I wish I owned my own tractor and implements but in the meantime, I am grateful to have access to such equipment close by and the skillful operator that comes with it. This operation is still really in the experimental stage, yet we just planted for the third season! It’s not that common to plant kamut (usually a spring wheat) at this time of year, but my previous trials show this has a good chance of success.

the harrow burying the seeds

May these seeds sprout and take strong root in the soil here, benefiting from winter’s influence. Hopefully we’ll see them really take off once Spring arrives, having had time to establish an important root base.

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applying the biodynamic preparations

the vortex

We stirred and applied the biodynamic preparations after planting some winter grains to our little zone (14 acres) of the prairie yesterday. Big thanks to Alex for his enthusiastic help. The preparations we used are various compounds created with cow manure, medicinal plants, and minerals, using traditional alchemical techniques. On a physical level, the preparations stimulate the biology of the soil, especially the quality and quantity of micro-organisms present (fungi, bacteria etc).  On an energetic, less tangible level, the preparations are like fertilizer for the invisible and elemental world, but this is tricky terrain, and I best not try to explain it on a brief blog post! Back to the photos.

alex and the oak barrel

This involves a particular method of stirring the biodynamic preparations into a 50 gallon barrel of water for one whole hour. The stirring creates a vortex, this creates some order, which is then crashed, creating chaos, as one then begins stirring in the opposite direction to form another vortex. This action is repeated for an hour.

creating order

creating chaos

Once the stirring is complete, we use back pack sprayers to apply the preparation to the fields. This whole process took two of us about four hours, to cover 14 acres. We are enjoying the transformation of these fields, in just two years, the increase in biological activity and structure in the soil is tremendous, in my humble opinion.

taking it all in, as the sun goes down

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Where can you find local organic grains and flour?

You can find organic purple barley, kamut, & red hard spring wheat in seed or flour forms at the following regional locations:

november markets:

*Anacortes Holiday Farmer’s Market – A 2-Day Event!

Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20, 10am-4pm at the Port Warehouse Transit Shed (100 Commercial Ave)

*West Seattle Farmer’s Market

Sundays, November 13, 20, 27, 10am-2pm

44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St  Seattle, Washington 98116

*University District Market in Seattle

Saturdays, November 26, 9am – 2pm

corner of University Way & NE 50th St,  Seattle, 98105

farmshop:

Rosehip Farm & Garden

338 Fort Casey Rd
Coupeville, WA 98239

local distribution lists:

Endless Summer

send an email to <rosehip@whidbey.net> to get on this great weekly list of whidbey island produce

Whidbey Green Goods

send an email to <mnpro@whidbey.com> to get on another fabulous local food weekly list

Healthy Living Co-op

send an email to <hlbcvk@gmail.com> to receive this list of local offerings

Please contact Georgina directly for more information on available grains and flours on a small or bulk scale. cell. 202 256 0916 & email. medicinefields@gmail.com

 

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Local Organic Grains – Ancient, Nutritious, Tasty

harvest festival - coupeville

 

Khorasan Wheat (aka kamut)

This ancient wheat comes from Eypyt. It is high in protein and minerals. It contains a unique type of gluten which is usually easier to digest than modern wheat gluten. It tastes sweet and buttery. This grain reminds us to chew our food for the full benefit, although you don’t need to eat a lot of it to feel a sustained energy. It is filling and fulfilling.  As a flour it can be used in all kinds of baked goods. I especially like it in pancakes, bread and pasta noodles.

 

Tibetan Barley

This purple variety is hull-less, so it has not been refined (pearled) like most commercial barley, leaving all the nutrients in tact. It has a rich, nutty flavor, which pleases many people. It is high in fiber and anti-oxidants.

‘Hank’ – a red hard spring wheat

This variety is quite well adapted to the coast. It grows a delicious wheat grass and can be used like regular wheat.

I am offering these three grains from the 2010 harvest, as a whole seed or in flour form. You can find these grains at local markets on Whidbey Island or through Whidbey Green Goods. Please call for inquiries. 202 256 0915

 

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why rinse grains and preferably soak them?

at the 3 sister's winter market

It’s always a good idea to at least rinse whole grains before you use them since they are likely exposed to dirt and dust all along the path from field to market. Since our grains are USDA organic, they are not exposed to any chemicals or toxins used in conventional agriculture. However, I did end up treating some of the 2010 harvested grains in storage with diatomaceous earth to prevent damage from mites. You can see trace amounts of this white substance on some of the grains.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic food grade organic solution to deal with mites. It is a white powder that comes from fossilized fresh water algae. Once mixed into the grains it both kills any mites amongst the grain and keeps them away. It is a great alternative to the highly toxic fumigation process that non-organic operations often use to eliminate common mite issues.

In July I discovered a tiny white mite, Acarus Siro, in some storage bins at the barn. This was a very sad moment. If allowed to linger, this little creature eats the kernel, which basically kills the seed, which is frankly a disaster and you risk losing your whole inventory. The diatomaceous earth is abrasive to the mites little bodies and basically dries them out. Some people advocate eating DE as a health supplement since it is high in silica and is said to benefit skin conditions, so I did not hesitate to rescue the grain crop in this way. It took hours to mix the DE into my storage bins and I remain grateful for the kind people who helped me with such a labor-intensive process.

I also discovered that freezing the grain for a few days works well to get rid of mites. I wish I had enough freezer space to store all 12,000 lb of grains but I did not, so I had to treat a lot of it with the DE white powder, which is why I am recommending rinsing the grains before use! Although the tiny amount of tasteless DE remaining on the grains is a cosmetic issue more than anything.

 Ideally though you would be organized enough in your kitchen to soak the grain at least 8 hours before use, this wakes up the seed, activates the enzymes and means that the grain cooks faster and more of the nutrients become digestible.

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