PRODUCER: Gilchesters Organics, Northumberland
PRODUCT: Stoneground Organic Wholemeal Spelt Flour
REGION: North East
CATEGORY: From the Earth (Primary)
WHAT THEY DO
Gilchesters Organics is the North East’s only organic flour mill and has been growing and milling heritage wheat and spelt on the site of an Ancient Roman fort in Northumberland for 10 years.
The selection of heritage grains grown on the farm, including rye, spelt and ancient grains such as emmer and einkorn, is the result of eight years’ research into organic crop husbandry. Gilchesters Organics is passionate about working with the natural constraints of the land, and grains they grow without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or agrochemicals. Crop and livestock rotation is used to maintain the quality of the soil.
The business is dedicated to nature conservation, having carried out an extensive 10-year programme across the farm. The land now accomodates five acres of winter feeding sites for birds, 14km uncultivated field margins, two ponds, and almost eight kilometres of hedges, all providing much-needed habitats for wildlife.
All flours are milled from home-grown grains using a traditional stone millstone to create fine flours with superior gluten structure and flavour and retaining the nutritional value of the grains. Gilchesters Organics undertakes research with Newcastle University and other institutes across Europe and is currently partnering a European project to promote healthy lesser-grown cereals. The company say, “We are passionate about bringing real flour to bakers and consumers alike”.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges commended Gilchesters Organics’ great attention paid to provenance and the “nice natural balance of business and nature” they had achieved. Judge Annie Stirk commented, “Heritage grains are now in vogue but this has been the family passion for many years”.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: gilchesters.com