This year I had the opportunity to participate in an evening in the fields of Mørdrupgård, an ecological farm where Per Grupe grow organic grains. He cultivates over 300 old varieties of grains. When he gets a variety from the Nordic Gene Bank (NordGen), it’s just a small portion. It has to be grown several years, before he has grain enough of a variety to perform baking or malting tests. In the process some varieties are discarded, as they simply perform poorly, but most grow well in an ecologic field.
It was a pleasure that so many participated, and understandable that one had to sign up in advance. We were so many visitors, that they used a speaker, enabling everybody to hear Per Grupes welcome speech. He has operated the farm since sometime in the 80’s.
We saw a lot of wheat varieties, both the oldest einkorn wheat and emmer (farro), but also the adorable compact wheat and other varieties that would be celebrated by florists. Many a gardener would enjoy a row of these beautiful old varieties in the flower garden, to dry them at harvest time as everlasting flowers. Unfortunately I did not stop with the camera – I wanted to hear every word from those wise professionals.
The biggest surprise to me was, when we passed a parcel with lentils. In order to increase yields there were sown oats in rows for the lentils to lean at. There are many varieties of lentils that can thrive in Denmark. It is not a crop, I immediately think of growing in my garden. On the other hand, it could be a fine crop in combination with some vegetables, as it fix nitrogen.
Crops on the field must have a value. In these fields it is for human consumption. We had samples of bread and beer made by some of the old varieties from the fields of Mørdrupgård. There was plenty of flavour in the good bread.
My favourites were Aurion Svedjerug rye bread and Meyers barley bread, others had their favorites.
The beer was good, but as I was driving, I only had a small cup. Enough to experience the taste of good beer.
Then there was naked barley and rye kernels. Germinated for three days and then boiled a few minutes. Served on vine leaves with sauce verte. Imagine, you can boil the whole kernel in 2-3 minutes as long as they have sprouted a few days. Healthy fast food! When the corn is in the germination process, they are probably good for several days. I guess we are a lot of people, who can use this method in our modern lifestyle, where food sometimes has to be fastfood.