This Friday (6th October) Trenchmore Farm will be offering free sourdough starters alongside their wonderful heritage flour.  They also make fantastic ‘Silly Moo’ cider that you can also sample, and take away a free glass if you buy six bottles.  There will be sourdough bread made using the flour for you to taste, or you can take our customer, Ian’s recommendation after his baking effort. The pictures of the bread are Ian’s.

“It came out great, good crumb and an excellent flavour”

They farm in Cowfold, and were recently voted Sussex Farmers of the Year. This is their first batch of heritage flour.

 Trenchmore’s heritage wheat is grown from a mixture of older wheat seeds – a landrace – that would have been common many years ago when wheat was shoulder height and the straw was favoured by thatchers. 
Rachel Knowles explained “We weren’t sure what to expect, everyone who had grown the seed told us to think of it as a different crop and they were right. Initially it looked incredible and grew to an amazing height but the wet July threatened to ruin the crop and the harvest was in danger of being delayed. Then there was a break in the weather and, with help from our neighbours, we managed to get the harvest in.”
These heritage varieties have a much lower yield than modern wheats, are lower in protein  and thought to be more nutrient dense. BBC’s Gardener’s Question Time Matthew Wilson chose ancient wheats as his desert island seed, explaining that modern wheat breeding is responsible for the growing intolerance to gluten.
The flavour from the stoneground wholewheat flour is great and the farm already has orders from Michelin starred George Blogg at Gravetye Manor.
Another labour of love for the Knowles family who are working hard to restore the soil on their mixed farm at Cowfold. Root length is related to the height of a plant and the longer roots of these older varieties are able to access more nutrients from the soil as well as helping to break up the heavy Wealden clay.
Great British Bake Off is inspiring us all to get our aprons on and Joanne Knowles has been practising her sourdough bread recipe which is on the Trenchmore Facebook. Joanne will be sampling bread and biscuits made with their heritage flour and giving out recipes and free sourdough starters, a mix of flour, water and wild yeasts that started life in the Silly Moo cider house, at Stansted Farm Shop on Friday 6th October from 9am – 1pm.