Nothing evokes farming more than the imagery of a wheat harvest, a farmer with a wheat straw in his or her mouth, or the idea that bread is only as good as the farmer who grew the grain. Wheat, originally from the near east region of the world, is one of the earliest grains mastered and manipulated by humanity as our society evolved from the migratory lifestyle of hunting and gathering clans to the agrarian shift, some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, which saw the birth of villages, cities and, eventually, fostered the emergence of civilizations. Wheat is now cultivated worldwide and is the third largest produced grain (713 million tons) after corn (over 1 billion tons), and rice (745 million tons) produced in 2013.
With an established tradition of raising heirloom products: tomatoes, beans, leafy vegetables, pigs, poultry, and many other agricultural products, Lone Willow Ranch is now venturing into the realm of ancient wheat grains, specifically Sonora soft white, Blue Ethiopian Emmer, and Kamut. Each grain has its specific characteristic which we selected for their unique qualities and corresponding applications.Lone Willow hs created two biodynamic homegrown pastas from two of its heirloom organic wheats: Ethiopian Emmer Wheat Fusilli and Soft Spring Sonora Pasta
Demeter Biodynamic Certified
Our heirloom wheat production is biodynamic certified. Biodynamic agriculture is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but which includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Initially developed in the 1920s, it was the first of the organic agriculture movements. It treats soil fertility, plant growth, and livestock care as ecologically interrelated tasks, emphasizing spiritual and mystical perspectives.
Biodynamics has much in common with other organic approaches – it emphasizes the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of animals, crops, and soil as a single system; an emphasis from its beginnings on local production and distribution systems; its use of traditional and development of new local breeds and varieties; and the use of an astrological sowing and planting calendar. Biodynamic agriculture uses various herbal and mineral additives for compost additives and field sprays; these are sometimes prepared by controversial methods, such as burying ground quartz stuffed into the horn of a cow, which are said to harvest "cosmic forces in the soil", that are more akin to sympathetic magic than agronomy.
Lone Willow Organic's offers two varieties of homegrown heirloom flour pasta
- Ethiopian Emmer Wheat Fusill
- Soft Spring Sonora Pasta
Offered in 2 different packaging options:
- 2 lbs. Packages @ $26.00 per package.
- 4 lbs. Packages @ $43.00 per package.
Ethiopian Emmer Wheat Fusilli Pasta in 2 lbs and 4 lbs packages
The Ethiopian Blue Tinge emmer wheat is exceptional in that it is almost totally free threshing. Its large seeds are perfect for pasta making. Unlike the Sonora white, it is not drought tolerant and is best planted in slower draining soil in wetter areas of California.
Its stature is short, further underscoring its need for water and more time to produce its berries. It requires high nitrogen and responds well to calcium sulfate (gypsum) for its sulfur requirements.
The grain requires excellent soil for good yield, hence rotation is usually needed for best results. Dan Jason introduced the Ethiopian emmer into North America in the 1990s..
Soft Spring Sonora Wheat Fusilli Pasta in 2 lbs and 4 lbs packages
The Sonora soft white wheat is a cultivar from landrace in Durango, Mexico. Perhaps the first successful wheat in Mexico from 1500. Also grown by Pima and Yuma Indians in Arizona, this ancient heirloom grain is regaining popularity for its high protein content and sturdy nature. It is an early wheat with only 90 days to maturity when planted in the spring. Perfect for light-colored tortillas and for yeasted bread baking, the Sonora wheat was widely harvested in California in the early 1800s up through the civil war.
The California Central Valley grew so much of it in the 1880s that, as the largest wheat production anywhere in the world, was able to set the floor price at the London International Wheat Exchange. Production sharply declined into the 20th century, barely surviving into the 1950s.
The North American continent has not seen any commercial production since. Being a fierce drought and rust resistant variety, it is making a comeback, at least in small farms, considering its ability to grow without irrigation and on low fertility soil.