SPELT (125 acres)
Spelt is an ancient form of wheat dating back to at least 5000 B.C. Even though splet contains gluten, it is a different form than in common wheat varieties. Therefore many folks with celiac disease can often tolerate spelt flour. Celiac disease is more prevalent now than say 50 year ago, and some speculate that the issue is glysophate intolerance rather than celiac disease.
In personal baking trials, spelt makes a somewhat darker full body bread with a full flavour. Spelt dough rises much quicker than common wheat dough. Also, spelt can be cooked like rice or as a breakfast cereal similar to oats. It has a crunch nutty taste and is delicious.
Why Spelt? ...... well, like any other wheat, it is a heavy feeder. The land has been in hay for 15 years, so there should be a strong nutrient base. However, the soil fertility will be augmented with an organic solution designed to address some possible deficiencies, for example: Calcium and Phosphate. Another good reason for growing spelt is it attracts a good price. Last year's organically certified crop sold for $37 to $38 per bushel, and the 2016 markets are shaping up to be a bit stronger than last year.
Oats (30 acres)
Oats will be planted on a field that was in hay for over 15 years. No additional soil nutrients will be applied in the spring since oats are not a heavy feeder. Only problem is the wildlife (bears, elk, deer, racoons, etc.) like oats too! And there is lots of wildlife here. Oh well, we will share with nature.
Rusk Ranch is located near the middle of Canada in the Swan River Valley agricultural belt. The acreage is surrounded by conventional chemical farms. It is hoped that this adventure will de-risk other farms towards environmentally sound farming practices that produce healthy nutrient dense corps!