Most coffee aficionados will tell you whole bean beats ground bean every time when it comes to storage and freshness.
Armstrong’s Fieldstone Organics says the same holds true for grains, seeds and legumes.
Following the “fresh is best” philosophy, Fieldstone, a certified organic granary, is teaming up with local produce markets to install domestic flour grinder/flaker mills. Their first one is already operational at Swan Lake Nurseryland.
“The benefit of having them freshly ground is you are capturing more of the nutrients,” said Barb Munro of Fieldstone.
“As soon as you grind them, those nutrients start to disappear, almost immediately. Particularly with your oats, the oxidization happens within one to two hours. With grains, it’s almost immediate when you grind them.”
Munro added that, once ground, flour should be stored in an airtight container, adding it will stay fresh up to a month on the shelf, and up to three in a fridge or freezer.
Swan Lake recently hosted a demonstration day, offering recipes, free samples and information to customers. The Nurseryland’s Diane Pipher-Olsen said it is a collaboration that makes good sense from both a business and health perspective.
“We’re all about local,” said Pipher-Olsen, who has already sampled Fieldstone’s goods.
“I tried using some of them whole and they’re a good substitute for rice, with a lot more protein.”
Fieldstone offers a range of wheat (red fife, hard red spring, soft white and durham), rye grain, ancient grains (kamut, spelt and barley) and oats for onsite milling and flaking at Swan Lake.
They also offer a variety of lentils, peas, beans and seeds.
Fieldstone Organics began in the early 2000s as a co-operative organization made up of a group of Armstrong growers and farmers. Although the granary has since expanded, it places an emphasis on sourcing locally grown crops.