On Sunday, April 26th, Ballard Farmers Market welcomes Bluebird Grain Farms. Bluebird will offer whole grains, flour, cereals, baking mixes and more grown, milled and packaged right on their farm.
Bluebird Grain Farm is nestled away in the Methow Valley of North Central Washington. The farm, owned by Brooke and Sam Lucy, is part a great resurgence of small-scale, regionally-based grain farms growing high quality grains suited to their local climates for their local markets.
While Bluebird grows a variety of grain and seed crops, including rye, soft white wheat, hard red wheat and flax, it specializes in the ancient grain called emmer, known as "the grain of the Fertile Crescent."
Emmer is the oldest cultivated grain crop, with cultivation dating back 17,000 years. It is an ancient ancestor of modern day wheat. It is high in protein and low in gluten, and it is a very versatile grain. Kernels of emmer thought to be as much as 3,000 years old found in the tombs of the pharaohs in Egypt have been successfully sprouted. Emmer has been largely kept alive in modern cuisine by Italians, who call it "farro," but it is beginning to make a resurgence in American cuisine. Emmer can be used whole in salads, soups, pilafs and risottos, as a flour for breads and pastas and cracked as a cereal.