At Podere Il Casale we grow varieties of organic ancient grains, and from this year we will use the evolutionary wheat technique. The ancient grains that we grow in Val d’Orcia are then stone ground in a local mill located a few minutes from our farm. With the obtained flours we produce pasta, bread and bakery products that we also use in our farm restaurant.
You have probably heard about ancient grains, but are you sure you know what they are and why to use them? Perhaps you have never heard of an evolutionary wheat. Well let’s proceed step by step and try to find out more together.
At Podere Il Casale we grow varieties of ancient grains
What they are and why to use them?
The term ancient grains refers to those varieties of wheat already present in the past, which have not been processed to increase their yield and modify their characteristics, as has happened to common wheat.
The modification process undergone by the grain has resulted in a progressive nutritional depletion of the cereal, starting with the protein structure. Modern grains have allowed yields to be increased with the use of chemical fertilizers and are much more suited to the needs of the industries that process them. All this translates into wheat-based products with a stronger but more technological and more difficult to digest gluten.
This is why cultivating and consuming ancient grains from a nutritional point of view: because they contain less gluten and because they are very often processed by hand and are lighter and more digestible for our body.
Cultivating ancient grains is also a commitment to our territory. It means protecting biodiversity. These grains have risked disappearing due to their low yield and higher production costs. That is why it is a duty to protect them.
Consuming ancient grains therefore often means choosing products with a short supply chain, therefore products that come from the territory controlled and guaranteed, means consuming products that are more digestible and with a better nutritional intake for our diet, without considering that they are even tastier!
A choice for the future of agriculture and food
Evolutionary wheat and the evolutionary mixture technique for us represents the future of agriculture and food. The evolutionary concoction technique conceives wheat as if it were a population. Are you wondering what evolutionary wheat is? It is simply a matter of sowing a mixture of many different varieties of the same species, in this case many different varieties of wheat, in the same plot.
A concept that is as simple as it is concretely useful. Mixtures have a great ability to evolve (naturally) over time, facing problems such as climate change, for example. Using this technique allows you to have a participatory-evolutionary genetic improvement over time: for example, you can protect yourself, as mentioned, from problems related to climate change or new weeds, because among the individuals of the entire population there will always be one. part that “will manage to get away with it.”
The evolutionary mixture technique therefore allows to have a single grain that will have different characteristics based on the soil or atmospheric conditions. A unique grain in many respects, not least also the organoleptic one. With the evolutionary wheat technique we can speak of “vintage wheat” because every year we will always have a different mixture with different properties and characteristics.
Furthermore, using the evolutionary mixture technique means freeing yourself from the monopoly of seeds, preventing the impoverishment of crops and the daily diet but also protecting biodiversity.
STONE GROUND FLOURS
Our wheat is grown in organic farming in the fields of our farm in Pienza, Val d’Orcia and is stone ground in a mill that is only a few minutes from the farm, ensuring a very short, controlled and artisanal supply chain.
Flours obtained from stone grinding, at low speed, are less refined than industrial flour. Thanks to this type of processing that reduces the overheating of the flours, the vitamin properties are not altered and in this way the wheat germ is also preserved, which is located in the external part of the grain. of group E and group B, mineral salts such as phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. The flours of ancient stone-ground grains keep the nutritional values of the grain intact. Ancient grains are suitable for all types of preparations and indicated to prevent intolerances or to supplement children’s nutrition.
We produce durum wheat flour, type 1 soft wheat, rye and spelled flours.