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13 Reasons to buy wheat from Anarchy Acres

What makes our products special, and why do we think anyone should buy them?  Here are 13 simple things that we think makes Anarchy Acres special, and worthy of your business.

  1. Heritage Grains are Healthier. There is good evidence that plant breeding has changed the protein makeup in wheat gluten, contributing to wheat allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 1 At Anarchy Acres, we have gone back to the seed banks to get authentic samples of long-lost wheat varieties, and spent years growing out the wheat into marketable quantities. No other farm today has a greater variety of authentic Wisconsin heritage wheat.

  2. We Don’t Use Anhydrous Ammonia. Most farm fields are injected with anhydrous ammonia, the primary source of agricultural nitrogen today. Although ammonia is a deadly poison, it’s also a very efficient way to apply nitrogen to soil. Excess nitrogen is thought to change the gliadin/glutenin ratio of wheat protein and contribute to our modern epidemic of gluten sensitivity.2 Furthermore, anhydrous ammonia is a petroleum product with an ugly history. It’s produced by the Haber process, a 20th century invention that made military explosives possible on an industrial scale. The carnage of World War One was a direct product of the Haber process. Fritz Haber, the inventor of the process, also developed phosgene gas, used in the trenches of WWI, and Zyklon B, used in the death chambers of WWII.

  3. No Glyphosate. Most modern farming involves the use of chemicals that kill. There are pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides applied to the crops and the soil. At Anarchy Acres, we do not use any killing chemicals in the growing of our food crops. Furthermore, we question whether food grown with the help of killing chemicals can properly nourish the human gut, which, after all, is full of microorganisms not too dissimilar from the life forms that modern agri-chemicals are constantly trying to destroy.

  4. Respect for the Soil. Our Newman Road field has not had any agricultural chemical applied to it for at least twenty years. It is home to uncounted plant, animal, and insect species. The soil is full of worms, microbes, and communities of life. Since we have begun farming this field in 2017, organic matter in the soil has increased and we have noted a greater tolerance for the soil to absorb excess rain without erosion. Also, the quality of the grain from this field has gotten better every year that we have farmed there.

  5. Unique Wheat. Modern wheat is selected primarily for yield. Farmers get paid by the bushel, not by taste or health outcomes. This is an important reason to consider the heritage wheat that Anarchy Acres grows. Goldcoin Wheat is a heritage white wheat whose origins go back to soft winter wheat grown in New York’s Genesee Valley, in the 1790s. Wisconsin No 2 wheat was selected by the University of Wisconsin in the early 1900s as being the ideal hard red winter wheat for Wisconsin farmers to grow. Java wheat has records in North America going back to the 1830s, at which time it was already the oldest spring wheat being grown in the New World. Anarchy Acres is the only place you can get all three of these wheats. What lost properties and flavors can you find in wheat like Wisconsin No 2, Goldcoin, or Java? Find out for yourself!

  6. Team Anarchy. Our miniature donkeys Rosie, Cassie, and Sebastian work on the farm and contribute according to their ability. All of our heritage grains were originally propagated on small fields tilled by the donkey team, and every bag of grain is moved at some point around the farm on a grain cart pulled by one of the donkeys. The donkeys remind us to respect our limitations. Working with the Team is a joy-filled experience, every time.

  7. Fresh Milled Flour. Our flour is milled fresh on a genuine stone mill. Whole-grain flour is a perishable product that people have been fooled into thinking is no-perishable. At the time of milling, oils in the germplasm combine with the bran and endosperm, starting the clock on taste and freshness. We aim to mill every bag within ten days or less of shipping. Large orders are always milled the same day we ship. The only way to get fresher flour is to mill it yourself, which we totally respect! All of our products can be ordered as whole, unmilled wheat berries for you to mill yourself.

  8. Hand Printed Flour Bags. All of our two and four-pound flour bags are printed on the farm using an antique, hand operated letterpress built in 1882. The back of the bag includes a message written in hand-set type, in a tradition going back to Gutenberg. We love that our products include this combination of meaningful hand work along with an original, visual expression of art.

  9. It's a Truly Small Farm. There are no twenty-foot containers, forklifts, or warehouses at Anarchy Acres. I grow about 12,000 lbs of wheat each year, and every pound is carried on my back at some point, probably several times. I believe that food loses it’s beauty as the scale of production increases. I don’t think beautiful food is possible at modern, market driven scale. At Anarchy Acres, small is beautiful.

  10. I Use Every Product I Sell. That’s why I got into this business. I began baking as a child, and I soon owned a hand-cranked flour mill and was grinding rye grown on my Uncle’s farm. The business today is an extension of my curiosity and creativity. I want to taste the past, eat products that no one has eaten for 100 years, and share them with my community. I eat bread, pasta, pizza, cookies, or muffins made with Anarchy Acres wheat every day. And I love that!

  11. Beauty. I believe that food is best when every part of the food-making process reveals beauty. When some part of the process is less than beautiful, I change it. Food loses beauty when it’s production diminishes the environment, or if the producers aren’t paid properly. We don’t live in a perfect world, but at Anarchy Acres we strive for beauty at every stage of our process.

  12. Haystacks. Since 2018 I have been hand-cutting enough grass on the homestead to make several large haystacks. This amounts almost three months of food for the donkeys, reducing the need for outside inputs to the farm. In fact, I stopped using tractors, lawnmowers, and any other petroleum-powered device for food production on my homestead several years ago. The haystacks are a way of taking an unused, renewable resource like grass and supplying nourishment to the donkeys. The donkeys turn this nourishment into natural fertilizer and useful work. The haystacks are one way of expressing my aspirations for sustainability.

  13. Swathing. Since 2021 we have been swathing (pronounced “swatting”) our wheat as part of the harvesting process. The wheat is cut and laid into windrows, without threshing. The wheat sits in the sun for a few days while the straw draws moisture out of the seed heads and facilitates the curing process. Once the wheat is fully cured, our antique combine picks up the wheat from the windrows and threshes out the wheat berries. Swathing takes more time than the modern method of cutting and threshing all at once, but it mimics the age-old tradition of cutting wheat with a scythe and threshing later. We believe that swathing contributes to the quality of our wheat.

1“Wheat Breeding, Fertilizers, and Pesticides: Do They Contribute to the Increasing Immunogenic Properties of Modern Wheat?” Sayanti Mandal and Anil K. Verma, 2021.

2“Wheat Breeding, Fertilizers, and Pesticides: Do They Contribute to the Increasing Immunogenic Properties of Modern Wheat?” Sayanti Mandal and Anil K. Verma, 2021.

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