Saturday, November 11, 2006

A New Green Revolution, but....

Last year, I finally subscribed to High Country News. One of the first copies that I recieved had an article entitle "The New Green Revolution." This was about farmers in Montana who were dedicated to doing it the right way, with a respect for that land and a desire to ensure the future of the small town where they lived.

One of the ventures was named "Wheat Montana"/.
But vanguard agriculture is about more than just organics. Just ask Dean Folkvord, the 44-year-old CEO of Wheat Montana. He began by taking over his family farm, which his father started in 1958 with 250 acres. Now it’s 15,000 acres. Folkvord doesn’t see expansion as necessarily bad. "That’s the way the rest of the world works right now," he says. Efficiency matters, however: "When we started farming, we were getting 20 bushels per acre. Now we’re at 40, even 50 bushels per acre."

Wheat Montana brands its product with names such as "Bronze Chief Hard Red Spring Wheat." Although it’s not USDA-certified organic, Wheat Montana uses an independent lab to ensure that there are no herbicide or pesticide residues in its products. The company advertises its products as "Better than Organic."

Folkvord has also figured out something else. "One of the myths is that farmers produce food," he says. "That’s not true. They grow the raw products."

I was lucky to find Wheat Montana flour are a store in Gilroy recently. Since we bake our own bread, we tried their "Bronze Chief Whole Wheat" flour. It made great bread and it was worth paying a little more for a quailty product, especially when I knew a bit about the background of the company.

The problem... the only store carrying their product was WalMart.

Oh, well. Maybe I can talk Trader Joe's into carrying it when they open their store in Morgan HIll.

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