New Partner Farm
Dear Friends and Customers of Janie’s Farm and Mill:
In an effort to widen our selection of Heirloom Varieties of grains (whole and cracked berries, and flours), we will be offering Certified Organic crops grown by Tom Luhrs Family Farm of Imperial, Nebraska. At present, he is raising and we will be offering: Organic Einkorn and Organic Red Fife (scroll down for details).
The Mill at Janie’s Farm will process Luhrs Family Farm’s certified organic Einkorn and Red Fife Wheat into flours and cracked grains. Tom will market these products in the western region through his brand ProHealth Grains LLC, and we will offer certified organic Einkorn and Red Fife grains and flours through Janie’s Farm (bulk quantities) and The Mill at Janie’s Farm (50-pound bags and smaller).
At Janie’s Farm, we have attempted to raise these crops, but with limited success due to our humid summers. I have been searching for a source of dry-land food-grade heritage grains, and Tom’s family has been growing and cleaning grains in western Nebraska for over 50 years. I recently visited with him, and believe his farm is a great fit to work with Janie’s Farm.
Harold’s and Tom’s Shared Goals
Provide healthy grains and flour from both heirloom and modern varieties
Market directly to consumers
Provide a viable farm to bring in the 5th generation farmers
Create opportunities for revitalization of our communities
Einkorn wheat is one of the earliest cultivated wheat varieties. This Ancient Grain may have been harvested as long as 30,000 years ago, according to archaeological evidence from Syria.
Einkorn has a higher percentage of protein than modern red wheats and has higher levels of fat, phosphorus, and potassium, making it more nutritious. Einkorn wheat contains lower levels of gluten. People who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant are often able to consume Einkorn wheat.
Luhrs has 58 acres of 100% Certified Organic “Wilkyway” winter Einkorn in production for 2019 harvest. Einkorn is de-hulled and cleaned at our facilities to put it in a usable condition for the miller and end-consumer.
Red Fife Wheat
Red Fife Wheat’s origin is unknown, but it is believed that Mennonite farmers in Poland grew the wheat that was shipped to David Fife of Canada. Fife then grew the wheat and shared it with other farmers, calling it Red Fife because of its distinctive color. The Red Fife seed is adaptable to a diversity of growing conditions. Red Fife set the baking and milling standards from the 1860s to the turn of the 20th century, and has been placed on the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity’s “Ark of Taste.”
Red Fife has great flavor and baking properties, and may be used in place of modern Hard Red Winter Wheat. This Ancient Grain may be easier to digest by people who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant.
Luhrs raised 100% Certified Organic Red Fife Wheat in 2018, but due to drought conditions, production was limited. Impressed with its ability to withstand drought conditions, and being part of the biodiversity of our farm, more Red Fife Wheat will be harvested in 2019.
More about Luhrs Family Farm . . .
Mission: To produce the highest quality grains and pulses for the health-conscious consumer while maintaining an environmentally balanced and sustainable farm for future generations.
Location: The Luhrs Farm is located on the High Plains of western Nebraska with rich silt loam soils known to produce some of the best quality grain and pulse crops in the world. The semi-arid climate is favorable to produce small grains (wheat, oats, millet) and pulse crops (field peas, forage peas and chickpeas).
The Luhrs Farm is part of a 2,180 acre farm operated by Luhrs Certified Seed, LLC, an old seed company that produces non-GMO small grains and pulse crops for certified seed. Even though our farm is cultivated with modern equipment, it has deep heritage and family roots of nearly 100 years.
Practices: In recent years, we have implemented sustainable farming practices by rotating a large variety of crops and planting cover crops between cash crops to improve soil health. These rotations break crop disease cycles, improve pest control and keep weeds in check using less herbicide while restoring the natural ecosystem of the soil.
Seeing the benefits of sustainable farming practices, there are now 620 acres committed to 100% certified organic cropland. These acres are more intensely managed with tillage, green manure crops, cover crops, and organic approved soil amendments like animal manure composts. Grain and pulse crops produced on 100% certified organic cropland results in a safer food supply while protecting the environment.