A NORTH EAST couple is looking to the past as it puts down new roots in a sustainable farming operation.
Ian Congdon and Courtney Young have just sown heritage wheat varieties Dart's Imperial (Berrigan Champion) and Khorasan on their 40-hectare grain and sheep property at Lilliput.
The founders of Woodstock Flour moved to the North East from Berrigan last year.
Ms Young said it was the first time they had sown Dart's Imperial, which was a heritage variety dating back to the early 1900s.
"There seems to be a lot of interest from bakers in those heritage varieties that have more flavour," she said.
"From an organic point of view if you get taller wheat varieties you are pumping more carbon into the ground."
Woodstock Flour produces wholegrain stoneground flour from certified organic grain - Spitfire Wheat, Rosella Wheat, Rye, Triticale and Spelt - grown by Ian's parents Bob and Jenny on their family farm at Berrigan.
Ms Young said they had recently expanded their milling capacity at Lilliput.
They were now running a second mill from a shed on the property.
"It's allowed us to double production," Ms Young said.
"It's exciting to be in the shed now; we were in a small house on wheels and now we're on firm ground."
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The couple had also bought a sifter for their milling operation recently with funding from Sustainable Table.
"While we're passionate about wholegrain flour and will continue to spruik the flavour and nutritional benefits of wholegrain flour to anyone and everyone who will listen, we understand that most of our bakers still use about 70 per cent white or high extraction flour in their bakeries," she said.
"Rather than ship our wholegrain flour all around the country, we're diversifying our product line to offer our existing local bakers a local alternative to their white flour - our own organic stoneground high extraction flour."
Ms Young said farmers were on the frontlines of climate change, facing more severe and frequent drought, heatwaves, fires and floods.
"We need deep emissions reductions this decade to protect Australian farmers from extreme weather events caused by climate change, and ensure we are able to continue to produce food for our communities," she said.
Woodstock Flour supplied more than 10 bakeries - including Valentine's Bakehouse at Rutherglen and Happy Baker at Yackandandah - and retailers.
It also offered regenerative lamb boxes done by Wolki Farm Butchery.
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