Organic Grains for the Northeast
Organic Grains for the Northeast is a network of growers, millers and other grain processors, bakers, chefs, and consumers in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey who are working to support the production of wheat and other food grains in the Northeast. In the effort to make our regional food system more sustainable by supplying locally grown products to consumers, locally grown grains have been lacking....Not anymore!
Over the past eight years, our on-farm research has shown that we can grow high quality grain in our region, including hard red bread wheat, heritage wheat, and the ancient grains spelt, emmer, and einkorn. Each year we have seen an increase in the number of grain growers and processors in our region.
Despite this success, it remains difficult for farmers to source seed of high-quality varieties and to find needed equipment. More mills and processing facilities—from large to small in scale—are needed. Plus we must continue to reacquire farming know-how that was lost during the 150+ years since the Northeast produced its own food grains. To further this effort, OGRIN has partnered with organizations in our region and across the country on a number of projects:
- Value-Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems. Funded by the USDA NIFA Organic Research and Education Initiative (OREI).
- Grain-Processing and Baking Using Locally Grown Grain. Funded by the USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).
- Farm-based selection and seed production of varieties of bread wheat, spelt, emmer, - and einkorn adapted to organic systems in the Northeast. Funded by Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).
Plus OGRIN has begun work with farmers on the pseudocereal quinoa. (http://www.ogrin.org/research/growing-quinoa-in-the-northeast)
For more information on OGRIN's work on food grains, see the factsheets/reports section of this website.