As agrochemical-soaked modern wheat blankets the planet with industrial uniformity, 'Restoring Heritage Grains' inspires with forgotten biodiversity, practical wheat growing methods, fascinating folklore and healthy gourmet recipes with gluten-safe ancient einkorn. Published bychelseagreen.com 255 p
1. On the Verge of Extinction - Why modern wheat makes us sick
2 Forgotten Biodiversity, 3. Landrace Grain Polyculture
4. Grain Mythology and Folk Traditions
5. Taste of History: Eating like a Neolithic Farmer
“Eli Rogosa has delivered to us, her many fans, the long-awaited book, Restoring Heritage Grains, in which she totally blows the lid off of this historic moment in the world of bread. She not only artfully guides us through thousands of years of the history and botanical evolution of wheat but also, prophetically, shows us its very future. And now we all have access to Eli’s inner world, to the passion that has been fermenting within her for many years and now exists forever through her brilliant words.”
—Peter Reinhart, educator; author of Bread Revolution
“Restoring Heritage Grains offers a veritable treasure trove from the past, yet one that is very relevant for today! The book introduces truly healthier, more nutritious, beautiful, and exciting grains to cultivate in your garden and farm and to enhance your palate. Read, grow, preserve, eat, and enjoy ancient grains for a biodiversity of taste and nourishment!”
—John Jeavons, author of How to Grow More Vegetables; executive director, Ecology Action
“Eli Rogosa has lived among the world’s few remaining peasant farmers who continue to cultivate landrace wheat seeds and traditions. She has collected and faithfully tended and multiplied their unique local varieties, learned their traditional production techniques, and recorded their special recipes. She brought these varieties to her home in New England and crossed them to combine their qualities and adapt them to the very different climate of their new home. Now, in Restoring Heritage Grains, she shares the wealth of information that she has preserved and the flavor of the seeds that she has saved, with people in this country and around the world.”
—Klaas Martens, farmer, Lakeview Organic Grain, Penn Yan, NY
“This beautiful book is unlike any other publication on wheat or grains that I have ever read. Written poetically, it is a rare mix of science, history, and culture; therefore, the book will be equally inspiring for scientists, students, farmers, seed savers, culinary experts, or just any person looking for interesting reading. With this book, Eli gives us a key to restoring our bread of life.”
—Mariam Jorjadze, director, Biological Farming Association Elkana (Georgia)
“Let yourself be inspired by the inflammable enthusiasm of Eli Rogosa about the diversity of ancient wheats, their historical backgrounds, and notes from her many encounters in different countries. The author brings these wheats not only onto your table with lots of recipes but also into your heart, which is the most important step on their way into the fields. Here they can develop in our modern times into what wheat should be for humans: a well-balanced partner that can help us to cultivate our minds, our bodies, and our sentiments.”
—Dr. Karl-Josef Mueller, biodynamic cereal breeder, Neu Darchau, Germany
“In this book, agro-anthropologist, farmer, and baker Eli Rogosa helps us rediscover ancient landrace and traditional pre-Green Revolution wheats—varieties that are more delicious, nutritious, drought-resistant, and resilient than modern wheats, and that are already organic-adapted. The author covers everything from the romantic to the practical: personal stories about finding individual plants of rare wheats in Israel; historical and anthropological information; methods for growing, harvesting, and threshing; as well as many detailed recipes. A must read for anyone who has a garden or farm and who likes good bread.”
—Carol Deppe, author of The Tao of Vegetable Gardening
“Our common cultural history goes all the way back to the very roots of civilization: the domestication of the cereals 12,000 years ago. In page after page of this book, Eli Rogosa’s profound knowledge, love, and passion for our common culinary and genetic heritage links our history with our daily bread, and fills the reader with enthusiasm to go into the field, and into the kitchen, to follow her example: Grow it, bake it, and eat it! Eli Rogosa’s quest for restoring quality bread from heritage grains is not only for the sake of your own health but to restore what unites us all, and thereby a mission of peace.”
—Dr. Anders Borgen, organic wheat breeder, Denmark
“Eli Rogosa deserves credit for pioneering the current return of interest in heritage grains. In a compelling and inspiring book, she retraces her own voyage of discovery into the beauty and importance of endangered grain varieties, the tragic loss of their presence in our fields and diets, and how we can participate in returning this most ancient of foods to our tables. Her wide-ranging work is a powerful reminder of the depth of our connection to the first crops cultivated by humans.”
—Sylvia Davatz, Solstice Seeds
“Most wheat grown worldwide today can be described as an in-bred, dwarfed, distant cousin of the genetically diverse, farmers’ landrace cereal crops of the past. Eli Rogosa argues passionately and convincingly in her book that from many perspectives, including food security and nutritional value, our landrace cereals need to be brought back from the brink of extinction. Eli illustrates the central role of cereals in human civilization as we know it, including in myth and religion and how this role has been traduced by agribusiness interests. Eli adds valuable advice and knowledge for the grower and the cook on preservation and use of our cereal crop inheritance.”
—Andy Forbes, secretary, Brockwell Bake Association, London, UK
“Restoring Heritage Grains is both poetic and practical. Eli Rogosa first tells the sad story of how the Green Revolution transformed the staff of life into a toxic-drenched monocrop. Then she shares the joyful story of her life’s work discovering, growing, distributing the seed and spreading the word about heritage grains. She makes a compelling case for heirloom landraces, the deep-rooted, diverse gene pools that coevolve with changing conditions, ‘people and seeds’ finding ways to survive through climate challenges. Along the way, she recounts the history of wheat from the earliest human discoveries through ancient and modern Near East and European history, including the new world of the Americas. She lingers over the early millennia of matriarchy and the sacred rituals of many different peoples. Especially striking is her account of ancient Israeli practices as a sophisticated community food system based on social justice. This is a book to cherish.”
—Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing the Harvest
“This is a marvelous book, which I will read again and again over the years. Eli has woven a tapestry of fact and flavour, drawing on botanical, agricultural, nutritional, and folk information never before assembled under one cover. And she has included practical information on how to make delicious bread and beer. She has described how the first farmers were ‘evolutionary plant breeders’ and worked with nature to create the biodiverse crops we now call ‘heritage’ grains. Sadly, much of this diversity was lost as farmers abandoned their traditional crops for modern varieties, beguiled by promises of bumper yields and a ‘green revolution’ that would feed the world. Unfortunately, these yield increases have been achieved at immense environmental, social, and nutritional costs. This book is a critique of industrial agriculture, but it is also a practical manual for how to reintroduce diversity into our farming systems by growing heritage grains, and how we can help repair our spiritual relationship with the earth.”
—John Letts, archaeo-botanist and farmer, Heritage Harvest Ltd., Oxford, UK
The Neolithic diet is similiar to the Mediterranean diet but with a greater abundance of wild-gathered greens and gluten-safe sprouted or fermented ancient landrace grains (ie einkorn) with beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, occassional dairy, fish or meat (two or three times a week) fruits, spiced with wild herbs and plenty of physical activity with a connectedness to nature. No processed foods or sugar.
Song of the Wheat Harvest
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