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Welsh grain revival

The Welsh Grain Forum held its third meeting on Monday 16th June at Ewan Brook farm near Crickhowell and Talgarth Mill. The forum is a community of growers, millers, bakers, maltsters, brewers, thatchers and others committed to using and promoting Welsh grain, set up with support from BOBL in 2013. One of its main aims is to build relationships between and within different parts of the supply chain, and that was the focus of this meeting.

Roger Bufton grows 50 ha of organic cereals near Crickhowell, and an experienced producer of arable crops for seed and feed. This year he is taking a new direction, growing Miluka wheat for the milling market. In the longer term, he is interested in working directly with grain group members, and wants to look the opportunities for growing other grains such as malting barley and rye. The farm is well suited to growing a wide range of crops, and with storage, drying and cleaning facilities available, he is well set up to work with grain businesses. For more information contact Roger on 01874 731087

The second part of the day was a visit to Talgarth Mill, led by Gez Richards, to see the mill in action and to talk about the opportunities for using more Welsh flour. There is a small but growing demand for flour from grains such as spelt, rye, einkorn and 'heritage' varieties of wheat which the group could exploit, although there are currently difficulties in obtaining seed which would need to be overcome. A campaign to promote quality bread generally and bread from Welsh flour in particular, and workshops for bakers on techniques and products particularly suited to Welsh grains are key elements of the building demand, both these activities are included in the proposals to extend the BOBL project.

For more information about the Forum contact 01970 621632.

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