Doves Farm wholegrain organic flours and their pasta range recently landed on our shelves and we couldn’t be more chuffed. To show you why we’re so proud to have this phenomenal range available in our online shop, we’ve rounded up our 10 top reasons to get behind the good work Doves Farm are doing.
1. A child of the 70’s
The 70s were a truly exciting time. Not only did they give us vintage slow craft like macrame decor, intuitive desires expressed via mood rings and lava lamps and soulful connection through VW Beetle adventures and a host of iconic music but it was also a time for activism, environmental awareness. Doves Farm too was founded during this epic period in 1977, by Clare and Michael Marriage with a simple desire to create quality flours by working in harmony with nature.
2. Slow living at its best
The owners of this mixed arable farm know that in order to have a good harvest they need to look after everything that comes into contact with the growing crop, not just the crop itself. That includes the animal and insect life living in the area. And what makes the environment happy? A well-planned system of crop rotation, which naturally develops their soil’s fertility, keeps pests under controls, as well as their quality speciality crops diseases free and the birds and bees a-humming.
3. Growing against the commercial grain
Modern agriculture has favoured new age wheat crops for their higher crop yield to support and supply a fast consumer lifestyle. At Doves Farm, they’ve chosen to go back to heritage grains like Einkorn, Spelt, Kamut Khorasan and Emmer farmed and loved by their ancestors. They’ve also chosen to mill their grains with traditional stone milling methods that to this day remain largely unchanged from the ways of yesteryear.
4. Margins & banks of a different kind
Doves Farm is part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and together they make sure to conserve reestablish wildlife habitats in the area in order to preserve the character of the farming countryside they get to call home.
Along the edges of the Doves Farm fields, you’ll find grass margins and beetle banks playing host to a plethora of birds, bats and beetles. By providing homes for the indigenous wildlife, the creatures in exchange feed on the insects that could be destructive to the crops. This allows them to keep pest under control in a natural and environmentally friendly manner. During the winter months. The crop off cut or ‘stubble’ is left behind on the land to invite ground-nesting birds like lapwings and, on rare occasion stone-curlews to make the farmland their home.
5. Wouldn’ ewe know it
While Doves Farm focuses on stone ground flour products, they also keep a 350 breeding mule ewes on the farm to aid in their crop rotation diversity. The manure from the organically fed livestock replenishes the soils with lost nutrients, enhancing its fertility. Thanks to this farming addition Doves Farm is able to come by without the use of fertilisers.
6. Inspiring pesticide free homebaked loaves
Glyphosate is a commonly found weed killer in close to 60% of loaves of bread tested in the UK. (Incidentally, this article was written in 2015 on the high prevalence of glyphosate carcinogens in SA supermarket bread loaves). By inspiring a life of homebaked bread with organic wholegrain flours, Doves Farm is giving you back the control to know exactly what is going into your bread loaves.
7. On the sweeter side of the spectrum
While the Doves Farm biscuits range does contain corn syrup, they are clear about not using high fructose corn syrup – which is processed to contain higher levels of fructose sweetener. Instead, they make use of non-enzymatic, organic corn syrup which is made from maize starch, adding colour and rich flavour to their baked cookies.
8. Flour power
Doves Farm knows that in order to be inspired to bake with organic flours you need to get a good result. And in order to get the results that make home baking a better option than the store-bought stuff, you need to know your flours. So if you’re ever in doubt of which flour to use for which baking task, check out their informative guide to using the right flour for the job.
9. Awesome accreditation
Don’t just take our word for it. Doves Farm is backed by several accredited institutions so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product. Their gluten free Freee range is certified by Coeliac UK. Their farming and crop rotation techniques are Soil Association Accredited so you know they’ve met the strict requirements and that they follow the highest standards of wildlife and environmental protection. And to boot, their flours and flour products are Kosher and vetted by the Vegan society.
The Doves Farm brand began experimenting with gluten-free products in 1978 to help Clare’s mother who was advised to follow a gluten-free diet. But back then free-from products barely existed on supermarket shelves, let alone having their own isles. And so the Freee range was born, a selection of gluten-free flours and baking aids, pasta and ready to bake mixes. The Freee brand is currently shortlisted for the UK Good Food award.