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Published on Nov 23, 2010
Several varieties of heritage wheat being grown at the University of Massachusetts Amherst experimental farm in Deerfield will help to prevent extinction for some of the most delicious and nutritious foods we've inherited from the ancient world, and re-introduce them to local bakers and markets eager to try something "new." These varieties, selected over centuries for flavor and high food value rather than yield, are often more disease-resistant than commercial wheats available today. Despite some challenges including the Massachusetts climate, with seeds from ancient Europe and the Mideast plus gene-banked varieties, the campus's Center for Agriculture is reviving such wheats as einkorn, grown in Mesopotamia between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. It's almost twice as high in minerals than modern wheat and makes a richly flavored, more digestible bread.