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Home &gt Discover Producers &gt Craggs &amp Co 51°30’02.3″N, 0°04’54.7″W

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CRAGGS & CO

Ancient Grain wheat, spelt & Flour

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Craggs & Co, Flour & Spelt, County Durham, England

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ABOUT CRAGGS & CO

Craggs & Co is the UK’s leading producer of ancient grain products, based in the beautiful countryside in the North East of England. They’ve been farming in Country Durham since the 1960s and in 2015 Craggs diversified into ancient grain production. They now have over 1,500 acres of spelt, einkorn, emmer, and rye fields, from which they make their 100% British ancient grain products.

From seed to plate, Craggs & Co are very proud that every stage of the process is traceable, from growing to harvest, milling to store. This goes for every single grain of wheat that goes into their products. Other than the fact that they taste great, Ancient grains have a broad range of health benefits. They can be used very much in the same way as traditional modern wheat, but they are much gentler on the digestive tract and a powerful agent to strengthen the immune and nervous systems. They tend to be higher in fibre than modern grains and though they contain gluten, it is often in much smaller quantities, meaning that they are friendlier to those of us who are gluten intolerant.

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CRAGGS & CO PRODUCTION

Ancient grains are grains which have been largely unchanged over centuries – this is opposed to grains like modern wheat which have undergone selective breeding to produce certain desirable characteristics, such as shorter varieties which are easier to grow and yield higher. Ancient grains tend not to need spraying like modern wheats, and grow in a husk instead. Craggs & Co sows the seeds, adds some fertilizer and lets the grain grown. Though it is a trickier growing process than modern wheats, they have the experience, equipment, and passion to produce these ancient grains.

Craggs harvest their fields like modern wheat, using a combine harvester. The grains are dried using a biomass straw-burning system, then processed using special machinery called a de-huller. This equipment spins the grains round and pings them around the machine walls to separate the grain from its husk. This protective jacket on each grain is left on right up until the point of milling, ensuring that all the flavour is contained within the grain. The waste product – a fair amount of husks and dust – is then used in the same biomass straw burning system to dry the following year’s crop. Craggs aims for this process to be to be totally renewable.

The grains are then milled into flour. They use the latest TASSC approved testing facilities at Craggs & Co. Each batch of wheat is tested for moisture, protein, Hagberg levels and bushel weight. For bread making, for example, the flour needs to be made from grain with a protein level of around 13%. Ancient grains are all upwards of 15%.

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WHAT ARE ANCIENT GRAINS?

Unlike modern wheat, ancient grains have remained mostly unchanged for hundreds of years. Whereas modern grains have been hybridised or undergone selective breeding to produce certain characteristics, ancient grains retain their naturally higher nutritional value and delicious flavour.

LOVINGLY PRODUCED IN THE UK

Craggs & Co are the UK’s only commercial supplier of ancient grain products. They’re very proud that every stage of the process is traceable all the way through – from growing the seeds, to harvest, milling and store. Ancient grains are tricky to grow and require patience, perseverance and passion, which Craggs & Co have in abundance.

SUSTAINABLE FARMING

All of Craggs & Co’s ancient grain products are sustainably dried using heat from their biomass boiler, or from electricity that is generated by their own wind turbines. They carefully manage every stage of the production process to make it as sustainable as possible.

CRAGGS & CO PEOPLE

The Craggs family farm, headed up by Janet and Stephen Craggs, is sandwiched between the Pennines and the North Sea. They benefit from cool westerly winds, moisture from the coast, and a balance of weather healthy for the grains they grow. Because the farm is owned by the Craggs and the land has been tilled for so many years, there is lots of organic matter and base minerals that help the crops grow in the clay soil.

CRAGGS & CO PROVENANCE

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Sedgefield, Stockton-on-Tees TS21 3HW, UK

CRAGGS & CO PROVENANCE STORY

THE ANCIENT GRAIN REVIVAL

In recent years some farmers in the North East of England have diversified their crops away from processed or refined grains into what we know as ‘ancient grains.’ These delicious and varied grains have not undergone any selective breeding for centuries, and have a fabulous range of health benefits.