Organic Grain: From Seed to Loaf


Workshop audio recording from the 2017 MOSES Organic Farming Conference.


Julie Dawson, Andrea Hazzard and John Wepking
Friday Session I

There’s a growing demand for high quality organic small grains for use by artisanal bakers, brewers and chefs. We’ll cover what buyers want when purchasing organic local grains, and current research on varieties that can improve production in the Upper Midwest, and meet food quality standards. We’ll also discuss crop rotations, fertility needs, harvest considerations, storage, processing, and pest, weed and disease management.

Julie Dawson is with the horticulture department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she’s involved in participatory variety trials focused on selection for quality and performance in organic systems. She has worked on wheat breeding for artisanal breadmaking quality with farmers in Washington, France and New York.

Andrea Hazzard owns Hazzard Free Farm, which grows oats, barley, hard and soft wheats, spelt, einkorn, emmer, and five kinds of heirloom corn. Cleaning, grinding and sifting is done on farm. The farm also produces all of the seed corn and the majority of small grain seed.

John Wepking has been farming with Bickford Organics, a 900-acre organic farm in Ridgeway, Wis., since 2015. He and his wife grow malting barley, hard red winter and spring wheats, open-pollinated flint corn and spelt, along with traditional feed crops, and raise organic grass-fed beef.