Local Fields of WheatWe buy 100% organic grains from nearby farmers. First, we turn to families who farm in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, where the climate supports the soft winter wheat varieties that make up our white and whole wheat Daisy Organic Pastry Flours. Even so, in some years, we must turn to farms in Ohio, Virginia or West Virginia to get enough premium grain for the flours we mill from soft wheat.
Weather conditions make a big difference, year by year. When we have a wet year in central Pennsylvania we go as far as we need to reach to farmers we know whose fields are producing high quality grains.
Our Heritage Reserve series of wheat flour – introduced in summer of 2014 – is similar in the percentage of protein that we specify for Daisy All-Purpose Flour. The Heritage Reserve Flour called Lancaster Red is an all-Pennsylvania product grown especially for us and available only in small quantities during this introductory year.
Several varieties of heritage wheat have been grown successfully in southcentral Pennsylvania, both historically and recently. Lancaster Red was chosen as our first release because it is a grain variety named in honor of the Lancaster County farm where it was grown about the same time that Daisy Flour was first branded in 1890. Lancaster Red was derived from a variety of wheat called Mediterranean at the time it was brought from Italy into the United States in 1819.
Prior to the 20th century, the soft wheat grown in the Middle Atlantic states was used for every purpose in the colonial kitchen. Today, flours are specialized and hard-wheat Bread Flour is in vogue. However, hard wheat grows best in the dry climate of the central plains. It is used for Daisy Organic Bread Flour and Whole Wheat Bread Flour. That said, we believe that Lancaster Red and other heritage wheats produce an excellent, unique loaf of bread. from Pennsylvania-grown wheat.
Dan the Miller at Daisy Flours
Every load of grain is tested when it arrives at the mill. Dan, our miller, looks at weight, moisture content, heat damage, ash, and falling numbers. He inspects the grain at several places within the newly arrived wheat to look for the presence of such as rye or garlic or weed seeds. We reject wheat that is not up to our standards. No matter where it comes from!