Growing demand for organic ancient grains
A rotation of primitive and ancient grains
Ancient grains have helped to spread risk on on Gerald Osborne’s organic farm in Wiltshire, supplying Organic flour specialist Doves Farm Foods Ltd with Einkorn, Emmer, Rye, E-wheat and spelt – which has a rapidly growing demand.
Gerald grows 124 hectares of arable, alongside beef cattle, laying hens and pigs on his 364-hectare farm. The ancient grains have allowed him to weather market volatility by supplying the growing artisan bread market directly on contract.
Michael Marriage, co-founder of Doves Farm, says that the demand for organic UK spelt is rising fast. “There is a growing market for spelt and we try to source grain from the UK as much as possible. The reason for this is more demand for organic products in general and a change in food preferences among consumers for more interesting breads.
“Convoitise is a new French variety, and the sample we’ve had through from Gerald looks great,” says Michael.
Gerald explains that Convoitise organic spelt has performed well on his chalk land. “This is the first year we have grown Conviotise spelt from Cope Seeds and Grain and it’s done very well. It’s yielded 3.5t/ha and it was straightforward to combine.”
Convoitise has a naturally high de-hulling rate, with a strong disease profile, including good resistance to Septoria tritici, yellow rust and mildew.
It has a good protein content, a high specific weight and is average to tall in height.