Jo and Ralph were delighted the other week to have a visit from Associate Professor Guy Roth and Dr Angela Pattison from Sydney University’s Plant Breeding Institute just down the road at Narrabri.
Guy has gained considerable notoriety in the district, and repeatedly featured on ABC television , and is known locally as the ‘footpath farmer ‘ Each year Guy plants out the nature strip outside his home with the latest and greatest crop from the Plant Institute.
His activities earned him one of the hottest hit rates in local ABC media history and at the same time gained considerable exposure for the Narrabri Institute. For more of this amazing story have a look at http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/rural-news/2016-12-27/urban-wheat-crop-grown-on-narrabri-footpath-provides-harvest/8142332
The Institute provides invaluable research into making crops more drought tolerant, less prone to infections and with greater productivity. This all works together to ensure that farmers are less and less reliant on expensive and sometimes damaging chemicals. The institute does not conduct any research into GMO crops as this aspect is actually written into the charter of the Narrabri site.
All plant breeding is conducted using only natural processes.
Angela is a specialist plant breeder and earned her doctorate researching an incredible ancient grain – ‘triticale’. This amazing grain has some incredible health attributes and we shall be talking a great deal about this grain as time progresses.
Bethel Farm Mill have agreed to conduct cooking trials with special strains of the grains which Angela has developed. Incredibly, the grain has about twice the protein of a typical cake wheat, but only a small amount of gluten. The gluten too is of a quite different type and seems to be very much more digestible than normal wheaten gluten This aspect of triticale is great news for anyone with a gluten sensitivity.
Jo and I are going to be doing systematic cooking trials over the next six months and we shall keep you posted about what we find. We are both very excited as the flavour of the flour is absolutely sensational. It tastes like a malty, nutty macadamia something. Smooth and rich. Truly wonderful. The flour has a light brown colour – quite different from wheaten flours.. So our first taste impressions simply could not have been better.