Ancient wheat for modern times

Why Einkorn Wheat Is Missing From Your Daily Diet

Why Einkorn Wheat Is Missing From Your Daily Diet

Thought out the majority of healthy food stores I’ve been to, every time I mention Einkorn, I get a blank stare followed by “Huh ?” and I usually assume it’s german word “einkorn” that is foreign so id try again “Ancient wheat? Healthy wheat? ” still nothing. So I began wondering how is it that so few stores had heard about a food that has been part of Humans diet for tens of thousands of years. As it turns out most of our diets in history change according to our situations, our environment and our  means of procuring it. Ever since the Neolithic period humans have consumer a healthy and nutritious grain often referred to as Wheat Berries or Einkorn (one grain/seed) but as our economic environment changed and capitalism became the driving force in all industries, so did our diet change. In the following I will  show you why Einkorn isn’t readily available at every corner grocery story, doing this by giving you a farmers perspective of the whole matter. More precisely what are the advantages and disadvantages of cultivating einkorn.

 

ADVANTAGES

 

  • A non-demanding crop: Einkorn can be sown on different types of soil, as it is not hard to please. It is suitable for cultivation on soil that is deficient in nutritional and organic substances.
  • Precursor: A good crop to precede einkorn is that, which leaves the soil in good structural condition and free from weeds. It is important to know that if the previous crop is rye, barley or wheat, some of their seeds will remain inside the soil and will mature at the same time as einkorn seeds. The developed plants /self-sown/ of rye or wheat are not resistant to different diseases such as ergot, unlike einkorn. During harvest einkorn seeds can be contaminated by diseased seeds from the self-sown plants, as well as ergot sclerotia.
  • Sowing approach: Einkorn does not require special preparation of the soil, any different from traditional sowing on a compact area used with most grain crops. It is enough that at the moment of sowing the state of the soil guarantees ease and quality of the sowing process, consequentially providing simultaneous growth for the seeds.
  • Sowing time: Sowing usually begins in the last ten days of September depending on your geographical location and lasts up until the end of the first ten days of October. Early sowing is preferable, as einkorn has a longer vegetative phase than wheat. Depending on the specific meteorological conditions of the production year, even einkorn that was sown late could provide good results.
  • Depth of sowing: Seeds are placed in topsoil, in a depth of 3-4 cm.
  • Sowing rate and density: The optimal sowing rate is about 420-450 seeds/m².
  • Fertilization: The introduction of additional quantities of mineral fertilizers in order to achieve best yield is not necessary, seeing that einkorn is a non-demanding plant nutritionally.

We not to use fertilizers for Limets Einkorn, in order to preserve einkorn’s valuable qualities. Our competitors experimenting with einkorn cultivation share that one-sided nitrogen fertilization causes luxuriant growth of the thin and gentle stalk of einkorn. This growth of height leads to early lodging of the crop and makes harvest more difficult.

  • Plant protection: Fungicides and insecticides are not necessary when cultivating einkorn – both pre-treatment of the seeds and during vegetation. It is resistant to diseases and enemies. This protection is genetically enclosed within the seeds.

Einkorn is not treated in any way with chemicals for protection – neither the seeds, nor the crops. This is due to the natural protection that the plant possesses botanically: the seeds have a hard shell; For that reason, einkorn is a strong plant, that is resistant to disease. What this means for consumers is that this is clean and pure food for consumption.

 

Care throughout the vegetative period: In autumn, during vegetation, no care is required.

 

 

 

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Yield: Compared to conventionally grown grain crops, einkorn’s yield per hectare is lower. Our yield of einkorn for 2014 is 270 kg per 10 000 Sq/ft. Post-cleaning of the seeds from impurities, real yield amounted to 250 kg  or 550 pounds per 10 000 sq/ft.  Versus 1,500 pounds of modern Wheat for the same amount for square feet.
  2. Sowing material: At the moment there is a shortage of quality sowing seeds on the market to be offered to grain-producers. According to our estimate last year about 10 000 10 765 sq/ft were sown in the country, which is negligible compared to the whole of agriculture.
  3. Preparation of the seeds for human consumption: When preparing the seeds for human consumption except the usual cleaning from all impurities an additional process is required – removal of einkorn’s specific hard outer shell. After the hulling of the grains with a specialized hulling machine, for every 100 kg of unshelled einkorn between 60 and 70 kg are hulled. Our company is in possession of one of the few such machines in Bulgaria (imported from Austria). We use it to hull our own einkorn production and we offer the service to clients to hull their batches of einkorn.

In conclusion, theres a number of reasons which have caused Einkorn to become scarce in our grocery stores. It all stems from an economic point of view; it more profitable to grow a modified modern wheat that is susceptible to chemicals and pesticides which Yields on average 3-4 times more than an Einkorn Crop. As most farmers are either trying to stay a float or stay competitive the decision on what to cultivate is a no brained. Very few could afford to cultivate Einkorn with the believe that people will buy not what is cheap and harmful but rather THAT which is affordable but also very beneficial to a consumers health.

Thanks to its advantages einkorn is not only an extremely valuable plant but also allows the cultivation of a healthy product, eliminating the need for application of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, acaricides, rodenticides, etc.) and mineral fertilizers.  Now that you know that this isn’t simply a plant grown with healthy practices by the label but also that the opposite, mainstream method of hacking it with God-knows-what is a waste of money for the producers thus making the clean way the only way.

Now its up to you to try it !

Please share and if you have any questions leave a comment.

 

1 Comment
  1. so much great information on here, : D.

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