Five grains from Milmore Downs
"There are three things in live accounted most precious: friendship, knowledge and grain"
Crops are processed to order in the millhouse on the farm. As well as whole grains Milmore Downs produces flour, kibbled grain and flakes from spelt/Dinkel, wheat, barley, oats and rye for sale in Biodynamic qualitiy.
Spelt / Dinkel
Dinkel (triticum spelta) has been grown on the farm for some 15 years, in fact Milmore Downs pioneered this crop and its demanding processing requirements. The old variety used ensures excellent quality. Dinkel is an ancient grain, related to wheat. It was previously widely grown in Europe but due to its low yield and difficult growing characteristics it has mostly been replaced by modern wheat. Although Dinkel contains as much gluten as wheat its gluten (protein) molecule has a different composition which is why many people who are allergic to wheat can eat Dinkel. If you have a wheat allergy though you may or may not be able to eat Dinkel. Just try a small amount first.
Dinkel flour is a wonderful easily digestible product having a pleasant nutty taste. It can be used for bread but also for the full range of baking (cakes and biscuits, scones, pizza base ...) in exactly the same way as ordinary wheat flour though the bread dough may take longer to rise.
Wheat is one of the oldest and nowadays most important cultivated food plants. Wheat like all the seven grains is a member of the grass family. It prefers good fertility levels and sufficient moisture throughout the growing season.
Wheat is mostly used for baking bread and cakes. There are three main types of wheat – so-called biscuit wheats with a lower protein content that are ideal for cakes and pastries, Durum wheat, a very hard variety for making pasta, and hard or bread wheats with high protein levels and good baking characteristics. Milmore Downs grows hard wheat varieties with excellent baking strength and the Biodynamic methods used enhance the quality still further.
Rye grows much better in cooler and drier regions than wheat, and also performs well on sandy soils. Rye is a ‘light’ germinator needing to be sown shallowly into a well prepared seed bed. Compaction or wet feet have a severe effect on rye and yields can slump dramatically if such conditions arise. It is wind pollinated to a substantial degree. This allows the introduction of outside lines which become ‘integrated’ over subsequent generations – the rye variety on Milmore Downs has developed over 30 years from four main seed sources.
Our rye is popular because it bakes well (typically falling number values are high). However, the baking qualities of rye flour are fundamentally different to those of wheat. This is due to the enzyme constituents - rye flour has amylum destructive amylases which hinders raising and therefore it needs to be baked using sour dough as the raising agent. Pumpernickel, made solely from rye flour and kibbled rye is a well known type of rye bread, but very often rye is mixed into bread made with other grains.
Oats have a higher fat content than other cereals. The edible oat grain is inside an inedible hull which must be removed before it can be eaten. Since it is very tightly bonded to the seed, hulling the grain is very exacting and then it must also be very well cleaned to separate all unhulled grains, and hulls from the hulled sample in order to exclude those ‘thumbnails’ that sometimes turn up in the muesli or porridge. Milmore Downs has by-passed this problem by sourcing a naked oat variety, an oat that grows without a hull. It is wonderful, tasty, cultivar – delicious and nutritious.
Oats have numerous uses in food; most commonly, they are rolled into flakes. These can be used in muesli or porridge, but many people use them in baking or as an ingredient in homemade bread.
Barley is one of the oldest domesticated crops having been first recorded in cultivation in prehistoric times. The grain is covered by an outer seed coat that covers the bran layer, a large starchy endosperm, and an oil-containing germ. The hull and bran are removed by a process called pearling. Once pearled it can be further processed to flour, semolina or flakes.
Barley flakes are ideal ingredients for mueslis – or even an excellent replacement for oat flakes – they are sweeter with a lower fat content. Try making 'granola' - lightly toast with a few raisins, a drizzle of honey, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and perhaps some nuts.
You can order all our grain products or buy directly from the farm. You are welcome to come and see us at any time to get grain products. Please ring before you do so that the products can be freshly processed and bagged for you. You can also signal a visit using the contact us button (don’t forget to give the date and time).
We supply many health food shops and bakeries throughout New Zealand. For more than 30 years we have had a close connection to Piko in Christchurch.