Situated in the heart of the West Australian Wheatbelt, Eden Valley Biodynamic Flour processes hard and soft wheat, rye and barley grains, all stone milled to order.
The Lloyd family toils the soil at Dumbleyung, southern Western Australia. Their 1295ha section of land is an entity in, and of itself, within which micro-climate regulation and water table control makes for ecologically sustainable and traditional agricultural practices.
Terri and Dayle Lloyd took over the mill and started producing flour from the crops grown on their farm in 1994. Today, the farm’s flour mill processes grain into certified baker’s flour, wholemeal, atta, self-raising, rye, barley and pasta flours. Other certified products include whole grains for milling and sprouting, stock feeds of straw, hay and formulated livestock pellets for sheep, cattle, horses and goats, as well as poultry crumble for free-ranging laying hens.
The Biodynamic Flour is stone-milled to order, which Terri says ensures a fresher, more nutritious end product.
“Our Australian bread wheat captures what baker and author John Downes calls ‘the lost flavour of wheaten goodness’,” she says.
“This flavour is enhanced in sourdough and long ferment breads. Mill this grain into flour suitable for bread, boil it and add it to grain salads or sprout it for use in juices and sprouted breads.
“Our Australian heritage rye grain is suited to home milling, with the flour ideal for making traditional European breads and crunchy biscuits.”
There’s also the brand’s natural barley kernels. The ancient barley variety sheds its hull naturally at harvest, foregoing the need for pearling – allowing the nutrient-rich aleurone bran to remain in tact. It’s ideal for enriching winter soups, casseroles and grain salads. But bakers are also increasingly using it, sprouted or milled, as a sweet soft flour for flat and unleavened breads.
Making the most of their microclimate, the Lloyd family has protected its farm and soils by adopting Biodynamic Flour farming practices, planting thousands of trees to stop wind and erosion. With no synthetic chemicals involved in the crop growing and grain storage process, there is no chance any traces of synthetic herbicide, insecticide, fungicide or fertiliser will be found on the grains or in the flour.
Not only is all Eden Valley produce free from genetic modifications, chemicals and synthetic fertilisers, but the entire set up is also clean and green. Solar power provides all the property’s electricity needs, and around 60 per cent of the flour mill’s energy demands.
This scaled-down approach will need to be adopted by more wheat growers Australia-wide, according to Terri, who says farmers are under more pressure than ever to make better use of their resources.
“We are all facing less predictable weather patterns, greater competition over mineral resources and unmanaged population growth, so there is pressure on us all to try to meet increasing demand for agricultural products for some way into the future,” she says.
“A progressive move towards lower-input farming methods and practices that recover natural soil fertility and investment coming from the minerals resources sector turning barren land into productive agricultural land, such as that seen in the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project, is an area wheat farmers need to keep an eye on.
“In the longer-term, I think we need to see the size of individual farms scaled down, and to have a whole-hearted re-engagement of our population with the essential and honourable career of farming.”