At Rowe Family Farms, we have been ethically raising grass-fed, antibiotic-free cattle for over 40 years. Sustainability in food production has always been a top priority for us and that is why today we bring you a not-so-new, yet sustainable alternative to modern wheat. A heritage wheat variety called Red Fife.
Red Fife is one of the first wheat varieties grown in Canada and it has remained unmodified. It is hundreds of years old and it possesses properties lost in modern wheat. This sustainable crop grows well in a smaller-scale, it doesn't require fertilizer or pesticides, and its carbon footprint is minimal.
We grow our Red Fife Wheat organically and our pasta is made fresh at the farm after stone-milling on a weekly basis.
Our Red Fife
Our organically-grown grain boasts a protein level of approximately 12-15% and it possesses digestive enzymes that have been lost in modern wheat due to modification and over-processing of flour and other wheat byproducts. Red Fife is lower in gliadin (gluten protein) than modern wheat varieties. Elevated gliadin protein levels are primarily what cause people to have allergic reactions/intolerances to most wheat.
Every week we mill just enough Red Fife flour to use and sell that weekend at our farmers markets. Wheat will easily last for thousands of years if it is kept away from moisture and direct sunlight. Upon milling it, the nutrients in the whole grain are released into the flour. A stone mill, which does not produce much heat, allows the wheat germ and all the essential nutrients from the grain to be fully bioavailable in the flour. We use the flour to make our fresh and delicious Red Fife Pasta.
Most wheat flours out there have been milled around 2 years prior to their arrival at grocery store shelves. The only reason the flour lasts that long is because every single living part that will eventually make the flour go rancid is removed. When ready to ship, the flour is mixed with enriching agents (i.e. vitamin powder, etc.) This encompasses but a fraction of the nutrients originally available in the grain.
Our pasta, made from fresh stone-milled flour, is chock-full of nutrients. We remove nothing from the flour, including the bran, wheat germ, and wheat germ oil. The only ingredients in the pasta are Red Fife flour, Rowe Farm eggs, and water. This is the original blend that we started with. Our wholesome pasta has a mild nutty flavour that some compare to almonds and a slightly denser texture, due to the bran, tasted in every bite.
We have been recently adding vegetable ingredients sourced from the various farmers markets we attend. You can now find a kale and spinach blend, a colourful beet noodle, a carrot variety, and a vegan variety (egg-free).
The pasta will last in the fridge for 10 days and in the freezer for 6 months. The cooking time in boiling water is only 2 minutes from fresh, and 4 minutes from frozen without the need to thaw it out.
It makes for a nice, easy meal that can be served in no time and it is well-complimented with simpler sauces. We love mixing it with fresh pesto sauce, or a nice olive oil, garlic, and fresh herb combination.