Grain at the Spiesschaert farm. Photo: Chas Hundley
FOREST GROVE - On Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Spiesschaert Farms, located at 3150 NW Thatcher Road on the outskirts of Forest Grove, is hosting a free, family-friendly event exploring the reintroduction of locally-raised whole grains, and introducing local artisans to the community.
Charlene Murdock, who heads the nonprofit Tuality Plains Great Grains, which is holding the event in conjunction with the farm, said Spiesschaert Farms and Tuality Plains Great Grains want to reintroduce the advantages of wholesome grains raised and produced locally, and how doing also helps boost the local economy,
There will be bread, bakery, and beverage tastings, whole-grain cooking, and baking demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides through the farm and its riparian area to show how farming practices include cleaning waterways, fresh food concessions, music by The Serendipity String Band, along with covered seating and plenty of parking, a flyer for the event states.
“Heritage grains, and some of the older, more nutritional varieties, tasted better before farming practices changes in the 1950s,’ Murdock told the Post. “After then, bread was made to be one weight for packaging, not for taste. Going back to these grains is really establishing a community around flavor and not weight.”
Murdock said the key is to store grains in reusable, cloth bags and not to refrigerate them. Once you mill a whole grain into flour it starts losing nutrition within the day. Bread in the grocery store is full of preservatives and chemicals and nutrition that's been added back chemically. Whole grains have everything you need from bread, and the taste is miles away from anything you can buy mass-produced in the grocery store, she said.
“We expect about 800 people at the event,” Murdock said. “We’ll have people from the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences Ph.D. barley program. We’ll also have The Tao of Tea, who is the curator of the teahouse (Lan Su) Chinese Garden (in Portland), and McMenamin’s even has a beer it’s rolling out for the event.”
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