What We Grow
Bluebird Emmer Farro (Triticum dicoccon)
Plump and chewy, delicious hot or cold, superb in soups, pilafs and risottos, outstanding in pasta, breads and baking—if you’re new to Bluebird Emmer Farro, you’re in for a very special treat.
Emmer, known as farro in Italy, is an ancient ancestor of wheat. It is an incredibly versatile grain with a wonderfully full-bodied flavor and robust nutritional value. Emmer is high in protein—ranging up to 22%— and also low in gluten, making it a great choice for people who are sensitive to more common, hybridized types of wheat.
Bluebird Emmer Farro sets the gold standard for this unique gourmet grain.
Shop Bluebird whole-grain Emmer Farro and emmer cereals, flour and mixes
From Mesopotamia to the Methow
Emmer was one of the first cereals to be domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and was the primary wheat grown in Asia, Africa and Europe throughout the first 5,000 years of recorded agriculture, more than 17,000 years ago.
Over the centuries, emmer was gradually abandoned in favor of more productive, hybrid varieties of durum wheat. By the beginning of the 20th century, higher-yielding wheat strains had replaced emmer almost everywhere, except in parts of Europe and Northern Africa, where our emmer seed originated.
Dark Northern Winter Rye (Secale cereale)
Tangy, earthy and satisfying, rye can be cooked whole, cracked as a cereal grain, or milled for breads. Blended, rye and Bluebird emmer farro make a full-bodied, nutritious loaf of bread reminiscent of old-world baking.
Rye is unusual among grains for the high level of fiber in its endosperm (not just in its bran). Because of this, rye products generally have a lower glycemic index than products made from wheat and most other grains, making them especially healthy for diabetics. The type of fiber in rye promotes a rapid feeling of fullness. Bluebird’s rye seed has been grown and cultivated in north-central Washington for more than 30 years.
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Weed or staple?
Rye is an ancient grain (technically a grass) closely related to wheat and barley. Domesticated rye has been traced to Neolithic sites in Turkey. Rye may have been cultivated in central Europe as early as 1800-1500 B.C. It has been feeding Eastern Europe since the middle ages.
Long seen as a weed in more desirable wheat crops, rye eventually gained respect for its ability to grow in areas too wet or cold for other grains. This has made it a traditional food in Northern Europe and Russia. Rye was also widely grown in colonial America.
Spring Hard Dark Northern Red Wheat and Spring Hard White Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Bread wheat is described as "hard" or "soft" according to its protein content; "winter" or "spring" according to when it is sown; and "red" or "white" according to the color of its kernels. Bluebird grows two varieties of open-pollinated Hard Wheat. Our hard white and red wheat have been carefully selected for their high nutritional value, and genetic purity. We grow all of our own seed and re-plant each year to maintain genetic purity. Both are custom milled to order and also sold as whole grains for cooking, sprouting, home milling and brewing. Our Hard wheat is about 12.5% protein, while our Hard White is around 13.5%. Hard red wheat has stronger-tasting tannins than milder white wheat ("white" does not mean the grain has been refined). Hard White has a slightly higher gluten content and softer endosperm allowing it to "fleck" or mill in a fine grind. This property allows Hard White Wheat to have more all-purpose use in baking. We call it our "whole grain all-purpose flour".
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One big family
Originating from wild Emmer and wild Einkorn more than 17,000 years ago, wheat has evolved into a large and complex family of domesticated grains. Wheat has come to dominate the grains we eat because it contains large amounts of gluten, a stretchy protein that enables bakers to create satisfying risen breads.
Because Bluebird operates under an intensive biodynamic farming system, we plant a multitude of cover crops such as Flax, Buckwheat, Mustard, Clover, and Peas