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October 4, 2021by melissa

During fall, we often cover up with warm sweaters and blankets to shelter from the elements. While our fields deserve to be cozy over the winter as well and so farmers are planting cover crops now that their primary crops have been harvested. Cover crops have been used for centuries in agriculture, but their benefit to topsoil health has only recently been studied in depth. All cover crops can aid in increasing the organic matter in the soil and are often referred to as “Green Manure”. Many times the cover crops grow over the fall and the following spring the crops are tilled under without being harvested. This increases organic content and soil fertility. Along with the benefit of soil health, the carbon that is drawn from the atmosphere is in the form of carbon dioxide which we know is a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.

Different cover crops serve different purposes.  Cover crops of grasses are used when soil erosion is a concern. Typical grass cover crops include rye, oats, barley and wheat. The fast growing root system traps and holds soil in place preventing it from being eroded through wind or water typically caused by the spring thaw.

Legume cover crops such as clover and alfalfa capture nitrogen in the air and sequester it in the soil. This can offset chemical fertilizer in conventional farming and gives a boost to organic farmers where nitrogen is often a macro nutrient lacking in their fertilizer plan. The deep root structure of some legumes breaks up subsoil compaction which also helps crops like corn in subsequent years.

Non-legume broadleaf varieties include oilseeds and buckwheat varieties. These varieties work really well as a green manure and make many nutrients more bioavailable to the new crop being planted in the spring. While rare in Canadian farms due to climate, European farmers may even include flowering cover crops to support bees and migrating birds. That is an awfully nice bouquet of flowers as a gift to mother nature.

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September 15, 2021by melissa

Happy Organic Week! We thought this would be a great time to share some of our organic facts and stats with you!

  1. Did you know only NON-GMO grains can be certified organic!  All our grains and flours are Certified Organic through Ecocert Canada.
  2. No glyphosates (Round-up) can be used on a certified organic crop.
  3. It takes 3 years for a farm to become certified organic. During this time no chemical fertilizers/ pesticides or herbicides can be used.
  4. It takes one acre of land to produce 1,000kg’s of bread flour.
  5. It takes about 43 sqft of Ontario Farmland to make enough flour for 1 sourdough loaf of bread (1kg loaf).
  6. Certified Organic grains can cost up to 5x the price of conventional grains.
  7. At 1847 Stone Milling we believe that healthy complex soils make flavour rich good quality grains.

Grain

Type of flour

Hard Wheats

Bread Flour, Whole wheat flour

Soft Wheats

Cake and Pastry flour

Blends of hard and soft wheat

All- purpose flour

  1. Did you know wheat can be planted in the spring or the fall. Each variety of wheat specializes in specific traits/characteristic. Ex. Winter hardy, high protein, increased endosperm, drought resistant.     
  2. All our grains are proudly sourced in Ontario from small family farms and elevators. Supporting our local community!

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September 10, 2021by melissa

Bringing in the wheat!

As we mentioned in our last farm post, all the wheat is in! You may have heard in the news about wheat shortages in Western Canada due to poor growing conditions. Western Canada saw record-breaking droughts and many crops did not materialize throughout the growing season.

Ontario happened to have amazing growing conditions at the beginning of the summer. Lots of heat and rain! The conditions were so favourable the wheat became very plump ( lots of endosperm/ starch). The excess amount of endosperm made the proportion of protein much lower in the grain.   For example, hard red spring wheat typically has protein levels around 13% protein has fallen below 11%. When protein contents are low the grains cannot be used to make good quality bread flour. But you might ask yourself why does the protein not increase proportionally with the endosperm? Nitrogen in manure is the limiting reagent in the formation of protein in wheat. Farmers determine their nutrient loading rates ( amount of manure spread per acre) based on projected protein level and yield. Typically, the yields are fairly consistent year to year for crops. Farmers add enough nutrients to target the desired level based on the specific variety of grain and data from previous growing seasons. Adding too many nutrients can cause eutrophication of the water through runoff and frankly are a waste of valuable resources, which no farmer ever wants to do.  So most farmers are very particular about determining the appropriate nutrient load rates of the field based on the crop and average yield.   In short, most farmers did not spread enough nitrogen to compensate for unanticipated extra grain growth.

Fortunately here at 1847 we have been busy since the harvest sourcing a variety of high quality organic wheat from our local farmers around Ontario. We have already sourced both the rarer high protein level wheat for the bread flour and the more abundant moderate protein content wheat for the all-purpose flours and they are safely stored in our grain bins. This guarantees that the remainder of 2021 and well into 2022 you will have access to great flour that makes you proud to bake.


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July 30, 2021by melissa
It is time!

The wheat has ripened in Southwestern Ontario and farmers are beginning the harvest. The first harvest of wheat in 2021 would have been planted in the fall of 2020. Wheat planted in the fall is called winter wheat. They sprout after being planted and then they overwinter in the field under the snow. Winter wheat is often the very first crop to sprout in the springtime. Organic farmers like to plant winter wheat because they can outcompete weeds in the spring. Weed control is especially challenging for Organic farmers. They don’t have as many “tools in their toolbox” to combat weed pressure. Winter wheat does tend to have lower protein so they tend not to be as desirable for our bread bakers and is the dominant grain in our cake and pastry flours.

Spring wheat tends to ripen a couple of weeks after winter wheat.  They are planted in the spring and have to compete against weeds when sprouting. Spring wheat typically has a higher protein level. This is what we are looking for in a great bread flour!

Some rye cereals have also ripened and are ready to be harvested. Rye can be planted in the spring or the fall.  Organic farmers also like to plant rye as they are very competitive and they are great for weed control to new organic fields. Rye can also be planted as a cover crop which will not yield any grain, however will inject nutrients and carbon into the soil. Something never to be overlooked is healthy soil. Healthy soil grows flavourful grains!

1847 stone milling wheat


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May 27, 2021by melissa

Spring is in the air, the birds are chirping, the ground is thawing and the rural roads are a mess! Throughout most of the year, gravel roads (or dirt roads by slang) make for an enjoyable drive. However, early in the spring, when the frost begins to melt, they end up looking more like a mud bowl and less like a road every day. The condition of the road can become so bad, that the Ministry of Transportation can close the road and annually imposes half-load season restrictions. During this period from roughly March to mid-July, the road access is limited to certain weight classes of vehicles. In particular, construction vehicles like delivery trucks, cement trucks and dump trucks famously carry half-full trailers of their cargo to avoid becoming overweight.  The restrictions are put in place to protect the roads and their foundation which can become damaged by uneven loads while the frost thaws from the road bed. Farmers can normally avoid being on the roads with heavy equipment during the worst of the period since their fields are equally wet and impassable.

While the condition of the road can cause excessive wear and tear to vehicles, the road condition recovers fairly quickly. The frost normally melts in early May and the road bed dries up and returns to an enjoyable condition. Tractors can get back on the roads and start readying the fields and seeding their crops in advance of the summer. In the meantime, if you notice any courier trucks a little muddier than normal this time of year, it probably means they have some fresh flour onboard and just braved the dirt roads of Southern Ontario to keep food moving from our farm to your table.


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April 22, 2021by melissa

One thing we are very proud of at 1847 Stone Milling is that we don’t just celebrate Earth day on April 22nd we celebrate each and everyday. Throughout the year we focus on regenerative practices which restore the soil and sequester carbon! We started this company to make the best flour for people while protecting the planet as well. It only makes sense to produce a product that leaves the world a little better than how we found it. You will be proud to use 1847 flour thanks to our commitment.

The Grain: We use only organic grains grown on healthy land where soil sequesters carbon permanently. No petroleum derived chemical fertilizers or herbicides or pesticides are ever used. We buy our grain in bulk from the farmers to avoid any unnecessary packaging and work with local farmers wherever possible.

Milling: We use solar panels to offset our power usage from our electric motors throughout the mill. We take this very serious and even produce more power then we use!

Packaging:  We chose to use 100% paper bags with cotton stitching so they may be composted or recycled.  We also buy our boxes from box recyclers that focuses on repurposing clean cardboard boxes. This drastically reduces the carbon intensity of our packaging.

Transportation: For the majority of our customers the flour is shipped directly to their front door. This avoids several warehousing transportation steps making it the greenest way to get you your flour.

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March 26, 2021by melissa

Spring has spring! We could not be happier that Spring has arrived!

With every purchase of $40 or more we will be adding a free metal yellow daffodil to your order! (1 flower per order while supplies last) Perfect for dressing up a flower pot, window box, or stick it right in the ground with your blooming flowers!

The yellow daffodil is also a symbol of hope, strength and courage for those affected by cancer.

We hope this little gift will brighten up your home and garden!

Shop now! 


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March 26, 2021by melissa

This month we celebrate Women in agriculture! Women have always played a crucial role in farming and with more machinery used on the farm, physical strength does not define a great farmer.  Women made a lot of progress in the 1940’s, taking over a large share of the farm work when many men went to war. Upon the return of soldiers after the war, there was a reversal to the “old” gender roles in farming until the 1980’s when women began to reclaim their position on the farm. Normally I try to write about general farm practices but today I will break it down and use my own experience as a woman in agriculture and the experience of my female friends and neighbours – all of us whom are 30-40 years old.

I don’t know if I grew up sheltered or completely unsheltered, but If there was work on the farm to be done everyone had to help. It didn’t matter if you were a son or a daughter.  Driving tractors, doing field work, helping with the animals or chopping fire wood. There were no gender roles when it came to work on our farm. I really had no idea gender roles were “a thing” on the farm until I reached University. I watched my Grandma work in the barn lifting 50 pound hay bales while my Grandpa loaded the hay elevator below. That Grandma continues to do field work and work in the barn, she is 84 years old! Impressive lady, but certainly not alone in her work ethic. Women like her were a role model to many of today’s generation of women in agriculture. Many of my friends have grown up the same way and taking over the family farm operations and doing a fantastic job I might add.

It is great to say that 29% of all farms are owned and operated by women. Jumping 12% in 10 years (from 2006 to 2016)! We have to thank the generation before us that began to really break down those gender roles. Today people tend to dwell on the negatives, what we don’t have, I like to look at what has been achieved and what is on the horizon ahead of us for the great Women in Agriculture!


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March 2, 2021by melissa

A Basic and Simple Sourdough Tin Loaf Featuring 1847 Daily Bread Flour

 

About Matthew:

Hi I’m Matt, a trained chef, baker and sourdough enthusiast with over 15 years of industry experience. I’m here to share tips, tricks and some of my favourite recipes to help you become a better cook and baker in your home kitchen!

Simple Sourdough:

A simple and easy to make sourdough tin loaf. While I often bake batard style loaves we really enjoy having a tin loaf at home for weekdays. Quickly toasted for breakfast or made into a hearty sandwich for lunch, this sourdough bread is a wonderful household staple.

For this sourdough tin loaf I am using 1847 Daily Bread flour.

  • 100% organic stone milled 1847 daily bread flour
  • 13.5% protein

Get the full recipe!

bread flour - daily bread

flour colour