Beans and grains have become a bit of an obsession around here. We are headed to the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market next weekend in search of some beans. A helpful reader turned me on to Ayers Creek Farm (thank you!), owned by Anthony and Carol Boutard. I have exchanged a few emails with Anthony and read a few online articles about their farm and harvesting methods. The only thing I am disappointed by is not being able to get any of their beans until next weekend.
Anthony and Carol grow a wide variety of heirloom beans and grains on their farm in Gaston, OR. They grow a number of Italian heirloom beans including Bianchetto, Black Basque, Purgatorio, Zolfino, Borlotto Lamon, and Tabais. They also grow barley, corn for polenta and popcorn, durum wheat, and soft red wheat. Until now, they have focused on growing non-bread grains.
They use some of their durum wheat harvest to produce frikeh. Frikeh, a grain featured in Middle-Eastern cooking, is wheat that is harvested while still green, then roasted, and finally threshed, and winnowed. Anthony wrote a very informative, detailed description of the process, along with information about required equipment here. According to Anthony, frikeh is best enjoyed within a month of harvest, which begins in July. I am looking forward to picking some up this summer and exploring ways to use this unusual grain.
The polenta, popcorn, and beans listed above are all available right now and can be purchased at the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market. They are sold out of barley and frikeh until the summer. I can hardly wait to try some Ayers Creek Farm beans, polenta, and popcorn. Of course, we will share our experiments and recipes with you here.
If you are a small grain farmer or wish to know more about growing and harvesting grains, Anthony shares his experience on growing grains on the Small Grain and Pulse Production blog. You can watch a short video about Ayers Creek Farm on Cooking Up a Story here.
Read our other bean and grain posts here:
Read about other local food and food related sources here.