PODCAST: CAN WE GROW GRAIN IN IRELAND

Manchán Magan hosted our discussion on grains in Ireland and whether we can grow them in a viable and sustainable way for flour milling / bread making. Panel participants:

Fintan Keenan – engineer and farmer at Mørdrupgård (organic grain growers and millers) in Denmark. He is also growing heritage Irish wheats that he sourced from gene banks with the aim of bulking seeds and eventually trailing them on his brothers farm in County Monaghan.

Monika Walecka – Polish wholegrain sourdough baker who uses freshly milled flours and many single grain breads – 100% rye / 100% einkorn etc.

Sarah Richards – owner of Seagull bakery, Tramore, Co Waterford. Currently installing a mill into their bakery and testing out small batches of Irish grown grains.

Andrew Workman – Fourth generation farmer of Dunanny Farm in Co. Louth. They have been producing full symbol organic cereals since 2006 and mill their own flour on site.

 

With more and more bakers wanting to make bread with ancient and heritage grains and source their produce locally, what does this mean for Irish grain growers.

Can we sustain a commercially viable grain industry?

If so, why are there not more people already doing it. Incentives for farmers?

Can we learn from other cultures with similar climates?

 

 

Audio Times

0.15 – Fintan Keenan from Co Monaghan talk about working together with Per Grupe on Mørdrupgård grain research farm and mill in Denmark

4.15 – Fintan and Andrew Workman of Dunany Farm and Mill talk about suitable varieties of wheat

6.10 – Andew Workman talks about growing organic wheat, rye and spelt at Dunany Farm and Mill

9.28 – Is Dunany Farm successfully growing bread flour in Ireland?

12.10 – Sarah Richards of Seagull Bakery asks Andrew and Fintan about the potential of growing varieties of high protein flour in Ireland

13.30 – They discuss varieties of grain that are suitable for Ireland

13.56 – Sarah Richards of Seagull Bakery talks about the tradition of blaa baking in Waterford, and how it was naturally fermented.

14.36 – Monika Walecka, a Polish baker and home-miller ask about the potentials for better milling of Irish grain to improve its performance. Andrew and Fintan reply.

17.32 – Monika talks about new types and techniques of milling in the USA.

18.50 – Monika talks about her path towards bread baking and wholegrain wheat milling in USA and Poland. She argues for the importance of home-milling.

29.50 – Sarah Richards tells the story of the Seagull Bakery and it’s future plans to mill flour on site.

37.28 – Fintan on Per Grupe on Mørdrupgård grain research farm and mill in Denmark.

43.33 – Andrew Workman talks about the Irish obsession with yield versus quality, and the roll of Monsanto’s Round-Up in crop harvesting.

44.08 – Andew discuss the potential for other grain growers and millers in Ireland like Dunany.

46.50 – Fintan discusses the potential for growing high quality, high protein, strong flour in Ireland.

48.28 – Andrew urges us to start planting the old varieties again; to revive the traditions of growing enough grain for the household.

49.54 – Fintan Keenan talks about his plans to grow old wheat strains on the family farm in Monaghan

50.15 – Fintan on the importance of investing in new mill technology in Ireland.

51.47  –  Who are the clients and customers who buy the expensive and experimental flours that Per Grupe’s Mørdrupgård farm produce?

53.49 –  Keith from Real Bread Ireland offers overview of the new small craft bakers in Ireland.