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Biodynamic Flour (αλεύρι)
Thessalian Valley is famous for its agricultural production. For years it was known for its plantations of sugar beets, cotton, corn and cereals of course, mainly wheat. Talking about a small country, these have not been huge plantations but they add up in acreage. Conventional agriculture needless to say goes with use of aids to kill foreign species, being plants or animals, to get the most out of land, to boost production, to sell anonymously to big traders. Then, one day a dreamer arrives to take care of the family land of three generations, with no farming experience whatsoever. It was a joke. What made it even funnier was the fact that she was entering a profession traditionally held by men in Greece.
There in the valley, she sets to establish a biodynamically farmed oasis. First, 2500 trees are planted within a 3-year plan to form a tree hedge that would be part of an effort to bring balance in the ecosystem. Apart from trees being magnets for the clouds, they provide shelter to the birds that rest on the branches to spy on food that lives on the soil, thus becoming her friends along the way. Of course other creatures also use the tree hedge. In addition the tree hedge is a protective shield. Second, the sheep arrive to supply manure as the raw material for making compost that is used to feed the soil that in turn feeds the plants. The animals of course are fed with biodynamic food grown in the farm and enjoy a peaceful and natural life with access to fresh air, exercise, no restrains. Species, unwanted, growing with the cereals that may be competing for nutrients and sun are removed mechanically by a special Austrian combing machine that removes them while young, aerating at the same time the soil. It is unavoidable that some cereal plants are also removed during the process. The way we handle this is by increasing the amount of seed we use during the sowing of our crops, which of course has an impact on the production costs – also we may lose more plants than predicted upon sowing and we may end up with lower yields than expected. Yields are lower than conventional production because we do not use any artificial means to boost production. Problems, should they arise, are also handled by natural means such as herbal teas, while an effort is made to find the cause of the imbalance that originally lead to the problem.
Then after harvest, Austria meets Greece again in a small artisanal stonemill constructed by Austrian technicians using Greek stones, from Naxos island in particular. Our biodynamic cereals (wheat such as durum or emmer, barley, rye, oat, etc according to the scheduled crop cultivation) are ground to produce wholemeal stonemilled flours that are good for you. Wholemeal flours contain all fractions of the grain. Sometimes flour comes out coarser; this limit is set by the approach of the stones: we pass the threshold and they start complaining. Flour is produced according to orders to ensure that a fresh product reaches you; we prefer that despite the fact that you may sometimes have to wait for us. Your patience deserves and indeed receives a bonus : a unique flour.
Here is our case:
This is an artisanal product brought to you by a family with a long farming history that has the purpose to pass its existence to the next generations. The use of chemicals is excluded at any stage of its production. Some stages from zero until this product reaches you are handled by hand, giving employment to a number of people. In all stages we take care to keep a balance so as not to increase the production cost immensely. Like any hand-made product it may have its imperfections, but then these make it unique and its additional value is that you know it is brought to you by a family that cares for other families, yours included.