Weatherbury Farm Grain Tracker
From Planting to Harvest, Obsidian Black Winter Emmer (Whole and Sifted Emmer Flour & Emmer Berries) in the field:
The Obsidian Black Winter Emmer is a variety that we obtained 12 seeds of at Agritechnica in Germany in 2011.
We started bulking the seed in 2012, by planting increasingly larger test plots. By 2018 we had a 1/3 of an acre planted. That was a unfortunately a very wet year and we lost the whole crop.
In the fall of 2020, we planted a large plot to start bulking our seed back up again.
.248ha/.613ac of the Obsidian Black Winter Emmer was planted.
We didn’t have enough seed to plant the entire field, so the last three passes were einkorn.
This is the way the emmer (on the left half of the field) and the einkorn looked when we frost seeded clover into the grain.
The emmer has certainly grown since April and is almost ready for harvest.
Harvesting our first crop of Obsidian Black Winter Emmer.
The grain is somewhat lodged (farm speak for fallen over) from heavy rains & winds.
The emmer was then loaded into a gravity wagon and transported back to the farm where it will be dried, debearded, cleaned and dehulled.
Meanwhile, we had an on farm flour pickup scheduled for July 23rd.
Farming at Weatherbury Farm requires wearing a number of hats: So when Nigel wasn’t harvesting emmer, he was milling 2400 pounds of grains.
Obsidian Black Winter Emmer Facts 2022
In 2022, Obsidian Black Winter Emmer was grown in Independence Township on on one field of .61 acres on the farm known as “Pleasant View Farm.” This farm was established in 1824 by J.M Welsh. Welsh is listed in the Caldwell Atlas as a farmer, grain, stock and wool grower. The farm was dormant for many years; however since 2006, organic grains and hay were grown on this farm. Weatherbury Farm has farmed this land since 2017. The farm has been certified organic since 2006.
The emmer was planted on October 13,2021.
Clover was frost seeded into the grain on March 18, 2022. (The clover suppresses weeds, aids in holding up the grain and, eventually provides nitrogen to the next crop.)
The emmer was harvested on July 20, 2022.
At the 2022 Washington County Fair, both the sheaf of Obsidian Emmer won 2nd place and the jar of Obsidian Emmer won 3rd place.
For an illustrated explanation of how Weatherbury grains become flour, visit the from seed to flour page.
About Obsidian Black Winter Emmer
Emmer is one of the three ancient hulled wheats. Its history dating back 17000 years spans Egypt (where it was used to make bread and beer) and Italy, where it was the food of the Roman Legion and if thought to be the wheat of the bible.
Emmer, like spelt and einkorn, is protected from the elements by a hull which doesn’t come free in harvest (unlike the hulls on wheat which do). The removal of the hull prior to milling requires special machinery. Weatherbury is lucky to have a dehuller, built by Farmer Nigel.
Products Milled from Obsidian Black Winter Emmer
Obsidian Black Winter Emmer is milled into whole unbleached Emmer Flour and sifted unbleached Emmer Flour. Emmer Flour can be used in place of whole wheat flour in most dishes from pie crusts to cakes to pancakes to bread.
Emmer berries (also known as Farro Medio), can be used in everything from baked goods to soups and salads or use like rice in a berry bowl.
Health benefits of Emmer
Emmer contains only 28 chromosomes while modern wheat contains 42. It is high in protein and fiber and contains high levels of minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids.
Emmer is high in protein — 1/2 cup contains between 26 and 40% of the daily fiber requirements. In addition to fiber and protein, it contains high levels of minerals , vitamins , anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids that can help keep you healthy. Additionally, it has a low glycemic index.
To read more about emmer flour, please visit our products page.
More information on emmer and other grains are on the grains we grow page.