Following a very dry year and shortage of organic barley grain, we’ve had to source our barley from Canada.
The grain is grown by a variety of organic farmers in North Eastern Saskatchewan, Canada where a wealth of organic production occurs. Cereal grains, oil seed and pulses are all grown throughout the province. Companies such as Quaker oats come to this region for oats to supply their breakfast cereals. The pearled barley we source from here has plump large kernels, with a snow-white internal colour. Barley can be used as an extender of rice to increase the nutritive value of the end-product.
Many organic producers in this area identify with the movement to producer better, healthier food. They believe in the pure richness of the organic process in farming. Despite the challenges from mother nature, these producers persevere, battling weed control and soil management feverishly in order to supply the pristine organic products they grow.
In Canada barley is traditionally sown in the spring. May is the preferred month, weather permitting.
There are a few varieties of barley that suit pearling as they mature in 60-90 days. Thus harvest happens in late August and early September, again weather permitting.
The organic company who pearls the barley takes pride in providing the world with a fine product of impeccable quality. The pearl barley is produced by removing the hull. Our order is then packaged and shipped to us.
While all organic grains are traceable back to the individual farmers (for reasons of organic auditing), it all gets combined in large silos on the site of processing. The company maintains records of grain sources but they don’t keep them in the way that we have set things up to enable the Plate2Farm tracker, and without a great deal of paper work they couldn’t tell us the specific farmers who grew the shipments of barley we receive.
We can assure you that Canada complies with the international codes for organic produce and thus we know that all grains the company sends to us are organic.