Canada + Peter, Coombah
There’s no surety in farming and even when you’re in the middle of harvesting an excellent crop disasters can still happen. Farmers who usually grow spelt for us, for example Peter at Coombah , have had a challenging season. This resulted in a major shortage of organic Australian spelt.
Consequently, we’ve had to source spelt from Canada. Their spelt variety is known as CDC Origin. The suppliers work with several different farmers who are scattered throughout the southern halves of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. While other varieties of spelt grow in Alberta, they’re not part of this particular program.
The seed variety is unique to this company and is vertically integrated through their organic grain growing division to their flour mill in Regina, Canada. This particular spelt variety does not fall over, which is a characteristic of spelt that makes it difficult to harvest. The variety is growing in popularity because the hull has the ability to protect itself from disease (specifically fusarium), making it much easier to farm organically since it’s self-protective property means it doesn’t require spraying with pesticides.
The spelt is a spring crop in the northern hemisphere, planted in May/June and harvested around September.
The suppliers offer their spelt program to those famers who are looking to transition to organics. Coupled with the ever-rising costs associated with conventional farming, many are looking for niche markets and ways to diversify; organic acres are increasing as a result.