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heritage wheat seminar - Aug 23/24

Posted: August 18 2009

Learning from the European Experience to Increase Wheat Production and Quality in New England
via the Heritage Wheat Conservancy:
Biodiversity is at the heart of a robust community food system. People are seeking the rich flavor and nutrition of heirloom varieties. When peoples immigrated to the New World, they brought landrace wheats from their homelands. These are the wheats that nourished earlier peoples, but are on the verge of extinction today, replaced by modern wheat varieties bred in agrochemical-soaked fields for high yield and uniformity.
All commercial wheats are patented to prevent farmers from saving them, and are replacing heritage wheats even in remote villages world-wide.
Most heritage wheats are more delicious and higher in nutrition than modern wheats. Many heritage wheats have higher protein and micronutrients than modern wheat, and are richer in flavor and nutrition - the very qualities bred out of modern wheats. Artisan bakers seek heritage wheats for delicious taste. But where are the heritage wheat seeds?
Heritage Wheat Seminar
with Dr. Anders Borgen
1:00 - 4:30
Aug 23, Sunday, <sit.edu> Brattleboro, VT
Aug 24, Monday, <mofga.org> Unity, Maine
Dr. Borgen is an organic farmer and wheat breeder with a collection of heritage wheats, a seed quality researcher and former board member of the Danish Organic Farming Association.
1:00 Organic Wheat Production: From the basis of wheat evolution and biodiversity, we will discuss how to improve small-scale cereal production under organic conditions in terms of economy, seed quality, markets and improving farmers’ skills.
2:00 Discussion: Participants will share their work and interests, and identify key cooperative goals to improve local production.
3:00 Break
3:15 Organic Breeding: Guidelines to develop wheat varieties best suited to Northeast organic systems by drawing on the rich genetic resources of heritage wheat and ‘composite-cross’ genepools for on-farm selection to improve the yield and quality of wheat.
4:00 Seed Exchange: The seminar will conclude with a wheat seed exchange and discussion of varieties, traits and wheat breeding goals.
$15. to pre-register on-line: growseed.org
$20 Registration at door. For details contact: [email protected]