Buckwheat now sourced from Tenera Grains!
I’ll preface this by saying our farm has been working towards this point for years and the moment is finally here! Please join me in celebrating all the hard work that the crew from Tenera Grains has put in - it’s a big deal for us and the industry.
Back in the fall of 2017 when I was fiddling around with the Teffola Original recipe, I only used what was in my pantry. I had been playing around with different foods that I only found in the natural foods store - buckwheat groats was one of those items!
These pseudo-grains are nutty, bitter and bring the most wonderful “pop” of texture. When people sample Teffola in front of me, they usually think that crunch is teff but it’s the buckwheat!
In 2020, our farm Tenera Grains, grew buckwheat for the first time in at least a generation because I wanted to be able to source teff AND buckwheat from the farm for Teffola. My parents agreed because it was part of a strategy to (stay with me now) diversify our crop portfolio. Going all in on corn and soy has been very volatile and we’ve been looking for a steady, more reliable set of crops. Enter alternative grains!
Buckwheat has been significantly easier to grow than teff, but the challenges of cleaning and processing it are more difficult. Buckwheat has a hull that protects the delicious groat. The more space in between the hull and the groat, the easier it is to take that groat off without damaging or cracking it. Of course, that space is very small in buckwheat and millet. And just for clarification, when I say processing it just means taking off that hull. We don’t heat treat, mill, or do anything to our grains.
After building the gluten free cleaning and processing facility, we had to wait months while dehulling equipment could be brought in from other countries. Remember when we finally got the equipment and ran it through…only to find that there were still too many groats with hulls on them? That meant the purchase of another piece of equipment called a color sorter and then bringing in someone to train the team on how to use it.
But the day is here! We have figured out how to clean buckwheat, dehull it, get the tiny stones out of there, separate the broken groats from the whole ones, gotten it tested to 99.9% purity and bagged it into the most beautiful 50 pound bags you ever did see.
Massive congratulations to our Specialty Grains Manager Kurt and Farm Manager Dean and my parents, Brad & Diane for seeing this vision through. Even after all of this, it feels like our story is just beginning.