Ray and Marianne Aspinall are doing something quite unique on their farm south of Estevan. They have an old stone mill where they grind all sorts of grains into wonderful organic flours.
The Aspinalls have been farming organically since the 1980s, but they wanted to get more value for their products. Even at premium organic rates, farmers get the short end of the stick (or the price tag) when they truck raw food off their farm to be processed somewhere else.
A few years ago, the Aspinalls made a deal with retired farmer Alvin Scheresky. For four decades, Scheresky ran a successful organic food business from his farm, shipping his grains to health food stores across the country. But he wanted to retire. The Aspinalls bought his mill and his customer list and revived the business. They also bought Alvin’s seed varieties, some of which date back to Europe and were brought to Canada with the settlers.
In respect to Alvin, and in recognition of his brand appeal, they added his name to that of their farm, to create the Daybreak-Scheresky Mill. Now, the Aspinalls are cleaning and milling organic grains for mail order and for sale in health food stores. They grow many of their own grains (including wheat, millet and buckwheat) and they also purchase from other local organic farmers.
I visited the Scheresky farm in May and left with 10kg bags of whole wheat flour, rolled oats and pearl barley. You can reach the Aspinalls at (306) 927-2695, or see their entire product list at www.daybreakschereskymill.com.