“My Grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”
Kurrajong Ridge mill only Sorghum Flour so their product is 100% guaranteed Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Wheat and Nut Free, Low GI, High in Iron, High Fibre, High Protein, Australian Family Owned and Operated, Paddock to Plate Company.
Now we have your attention I am proud to introduce the latest guest to CWMS, Bruce Nixon, co founder of Kurrajong Ridge Sorghum Flour.
Bruce, along with his business partner Martin and their respective families:
Their Gluten Free Flour provides REAL hands on quality control – from ‘Paddock to Plate’. This is great news for allergy sufferers, those who are gluten intolerant or, for people wanting to add variety with their choice of grains.
Kurrajong Ridge add further value to their product by using traditional Artisan Stone Milling Techniques to preserve the nutrients found in the grain – but that is enough from me, let’s hear from the man himself…
CWMS – When/where/how/why did Kurrajong Ridge (KR) begin?
KR/Bruce – Kurrajong Ridge was the brain wave of two mates getting together over a couple of beers. We wanted to create a business for both our young families which combines our love of farming, with our experience in manufacturing – we have successfully achieved our goal.
We started by buying a little kitchen mill which we used to test-mill the sorghum, both red and white varieties and began ‘test baking’. When we were happy we had a product that was ‘the bomb’ we purchased a commercial size stone mill. We planted white sorghum so we would have a product we could mill (planted in November, harvested in April). We decided to mill only sorghum to ensure no gluten contaminations – do one thing and do it well.
All in all it took two years from inception to having a product packaged and on the shelves. We took our time because we wanted to make sure everything was right.
CWMS – Why did you choose Sorghum?
KR/Bruce – We chose sorghum because it is gluten free as well as being a crop suited for growing in our area. Sorghum flour is high in fibre, protein, iron, Vitamin B3, magnesium and copper as well as having a low GI. Out of all the gluten free flours, sorghum tastes and behaves the most like wheat. It has quite good binding properties so the use of gums in most recipes is not required. So [with sorghum] we are able to provide a NUTRITIOUS gluten free flour packed with FLAVOUR and relatively easy to use.
CWMS – Why White – is there a wholemeal variety?
KR/Bruce – The ‘white’ is purely the colour of the sorghum. When we did our testing, we tested both white and red sorghum and discovered there is a difference in the flavour. The tannins in the red sorghum, which give it the dark colour, tend to give it a stronger flavour which can taste a bit bitter. The white however, has a more neutral flavour which, when used for baking, compliments the flavours of the other ingredients. It is also naturally sweet-tasting which enables the reduction of sugar in recipes. Another advantage is the lighter colour did not alter the colour of the final product, where as the red tended to make the baked item quite dark.
Is there a wholemeal variety? Well in fact our flour is a whole grain flour which means the whole of the grain is used without any parts being sifted out, just the way nature intended. Whole grains are healthier as they contain all three parts of the kernel providing more protein, more fibre and many important vitamins and minerals.
Refining (making white flour) normally removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain’s protein is lost, along with at least seventeen key nutrients.
CWMS – What are the advantages with Stone Milling?
KR/Bruce – Stone milling flour is simply grinding grain between two stones into a powder. It is a relatively slow process which mills the grain gently so very little heat is generated. The stones help to keep it cool ensuring no nutrients are ‘baked off’ during milling.
Our stone mill was imported from Austria, a beautiful piece of machinery handcrafted out of timber, the same as was used thousands of years ago. The only difference is we have a motor to turn the stones instead of the big wind mill. We felt the mill was too beautiful to give a male name (and if you talk to my wife she says women do all the work anyway) so we affectionately named her Heidi after the lady we liaised with while purchasing.
CWMS – You are clearly very connected to the land, what are your thoughts on sustainable practices?
KR/Bruce – We, as primary producers, believe very much in looking after the country that looks after us. We believe in sustainable agriculture – leaving the ground the same, if not better, than before. So in a way we recycle the land over and over. I was once told that “our farms are not given to us by our parents but lent to us from our children“. This has stuck in my mind and is something I believe in whole heartedly. For this reason also we try not to waste anything and recycle where we can both in business and around our home. As a result the wooden shipping crate Heidi arrived in has been transformed into cupboards and shelving for storage.
Today’s post was published to coincide with Earth Hour. Last year 162 countries and over 7000 cities and towns were involved making it the worlds largest grassroots movement for the environment. This year the theme choice is Food and Farming and the intention is to begin conversations around the effect Global Warming is having on Farmers and our favourite foods. So on Saturday 28 March from 8.30pm – 9.30pm show your support and ‘switch off to shine a light on Global Warming and support Aussie Food and Farming!’.
You can log on and register your Earth Hour event here.
Australian Farmers have taken a beating over the last few years with the 2014 drought devastating the land, closing down farming operations and leaving families without an income. People on the land are still desperate for rain and need our help. By choosing to buy local and Australian grown, you are not only supporting your fellow countryman and women, you are securing a family heritage and a future for their children.
Still not convinced – Joanna Blythman, an award winning British investigative Food Journalist and Writer reports in the Guardian (from a recent conference she attended in Europe) – ‘Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat’
“The conference was the domain of people whose natural environment is the laboratory and the factory, not the kitchen, the farm or the field; people who share the assumption that everything nature can do, man can do so much better, and more profitably”.
So, which world would you like to use your consumer power to support – the factory or the field?
Those who would like to know more about Kurrajong Ridge Gluten Free Flour can follow this link to their website or contact Bruce directly at: Bruce@kurrajongridge.com.au.
Now there’s a great conversation starter… here is your chance to have a positive impact and share this information with a friend who is perhaps an allergy sufferer, is intolerant to Gluten or someone you know who is always looking for variety in their cooking. As well as making their day you will be joining CWMS in supporting Aussie Farmers at the same time – perfect!