Duchess Farms heritage flour: The Mill Project!

Duchess Farms heritage flour: The Mill Project!

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£16,720

raised in 39 days

127

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A small farm in need of a mill. Dedicated to growing, milling and selling heritage flour direct, moving farmers towards organic practices.

New stretch target

This would be AMAZING as we could buy the whole flour mill!

We would also develop our 100% biodegradable printed bags :)


PROJECT AIM

To reimagine the grain and flour supply network by growing and buying grains using organic practices, buying back for a fair price and selling delicious flour to our customers direct.

  • To buy and install dehulling, cleaning and milling equipment at Duchess Farms.
  • Increase supply enabling us to grow on more farms, stabilise demand/supply, pay a fair price and support more farmers to grow using no spraying methods.
  • To develop 100% biodegradable packaging.
  • To convert grains grown for animals to grains for humans.

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Hi there! We are the Duchess Farms team, lovely to e-meet you :)

We are a small farm team who grow heritage and ancient grains for making flour. We also grow rapeseed and produce cold-pressed rapeseed oil.

But today for you, we are all about the grains! Because...well...we need a mill!

What are heritage grains?

Heritage and ancient grains have become increasingly popular in times of late, for farmers and citizens alike. These grains (including wheat, einkorn, rye and more), grown and bred before the 1950's, are better adapted to our local environments, need no chemical sprays to grow and contain a diverse range of nutrients so often lost in modern white flour.

Plus they are DELICIOUS!

Whats wrong with normal wheat?

To be honest, conventional wheat just isn’t cutting in any more. Wheat production boomed after the world wars when ammonia that had been used to make bombs was diverted into making fertilizer (this still happens!). We bred wheat to produce huge quantities using a lot of chemicals. This system is still the norm today.

Modern wheats have also been found to have higher immunoreactivity than many older wheats like einkorn and emmer, meaning they may cause more immune problems; diseases such as coeliacs, and wheat intolerances.

From increases in gluten intolerance to the destruction of our farmland, modern wheats are causing so many problems. So we’ve stepped in to make a change.

What we do?

What’s so special about what we do? Well, we are using these grains to convert our farm to practicing organic, which is pretty damn hard to do with normal grains. They grow tall, with deep roots and shade out weeds. They don't need any chemical sprays to grow. 

We are also supporting other farmers in the area to grow for us, and offering them a good price for their grains to create a badass grains network.

We also do a lot of adventuring to find new and exciting grains. From Canada to Copenhagen, California to County Clare, we grow all sorts on our little farm!

Lastly, we work really closely with our baker and chef base to work out which grains are the most delicious and best for baking and cooking, meaning we can do the best job growing them for you.

Photo @ Henrietta Inman

Who are we?

We are a small team, Abi Aspen who is the Head of Grains and Oscar who is the Head of Farming.

Abi is an ex-lab meat scientist turned grain nerd and farmer. She is all about the grains; travels far and wide in search of seed; and is the team researcher. She also works as a chef with The Sustainable Food Story, and can whip up a mean sourdough.


Her travels have taken her far-m and wide, from the laboratories of King’s College London to the fields of Stone Barns and Blue Hill. She has a good bag of knowledge about the food and farming industry.

Oscar is a 6th generation farmer and he founded Duchess Farms. He is the head of farming, and is well connected to an extensive chef network through supplying rapeseed oil. He also can manoeuvre a tractor like no one's business.

What’s do we need funds for?

Our project is the 1st step in 'The Mill Project’.

We wish to buy...a dehuller and a cleaner (doesn’t sound the most sexy we know). What’s this, you may ask? Let us explain!

Heritage grains may be en-vogue, however there is more than meets the eye.

When growing they are covered tightly in a husk (or jacket), which you can't mill straight off. Grains like einkorn, emmer and sometimes spelt have this jacket. Therefore you need to give it a good rub and separate the grain and the husk, essentially taking off it’s jacket (more sexy now). This is done using a dehuller, and then all the jackets are sorted out using the cleaner.

The crazy thing is...there is nowhere in the UK that will do this for us! Therefore, it's time to take matters into our own hands so we can get you some heritage grain einkorn flour, but we need your help! 

We also need...a mill!

And we have a rather badass one in mind which will give THE finest most delicious wholegrain flour you have ever tasted. 

We aim to raise funds by pre-selling our einkorn and heritage flour, plus some Duchess Farms goodie packs which will be ready in June, meaning we can get all the infrastructure in place to do so!

We will also be offering:

  • A Duchess farm baking day with Henrietta Inman, and London baking day with Hen x Kate @ Stockwell Kitchen x Duchess Farms.
  • A Duchess farm and London (with Kate @ Stockwell Kitchen) dinner with the awesome team of SILO with Doug McMaster x Duchess Farms.
  • A day on the farm with Duchess Farms, plus lunch.
  • More chef and cooking based rewards to be released each week!

Plus the opportunity to grow a whole acre of your own heritage grains!

Raising these funds means so much to us, and the project will set us on the way with the mill project. We can:

  • Install the dehulling and cleaning equipment (I know, I know, sounds pretty sexy?)
  • Staff to make this happen! Nice bit of Covid local job aid.
  • Enable us to deliver efficiently to our growing customer base.
  • Host some amazing farming, grain and baking days and dinners on the farm!

With stretch funding we can also:

  • The big one......BUY THE MILL!!!
  • Develop our 100% biodegradable printed bags.

So THANKS! To all of you. Home bakers, professional chefs, mums, brothers, kids and dogs, for all your current and future support. It really means so much.

We aim to be outstanding in our field, and hope to see you out standing in our field too!

The Duchess Farms Team

Abi & Oscar

@DuchessFarms

DuchessFarms.co.uk

Kate @ Stockwell Kitchen

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