What We Believe In
A team that loves to create
A need to do something out of your own volition or out of reaction to a certain situation.
Who would farm with old methods of crop rotation and gentle aerating of the soil? Who would start a slower grinding stone mill? Who would bake in a stone oven to make bread in the slow time honored manner to extract maximum benefit out of the efforts of mother nature? Who would buy these products if they seem so much more expensive and sometimes "inconvenient"? The answer is enlightened farmers, millers and consumers.
They have the need to express their desires through what they do. It is a certain dedication to oneself to want to know, to choose and to commit to the "best practice" whether you are a technician, an artisan, or a mother.
The consumer is the vital link that allows these "old" methods to thrive because of their dedication to seeing success as a multi dimensional result.
These individuals are the new frontier of South Africa. They come from all walks of life. They are independent thinkers in an age of "mass-everything". Independent, yet they provide the diversity and true choices. They do the opposite of what is normal. They set their own rules of what is acceptable in terms of quality and outcome. It is very much the small farmers' independence speaking once again. Less labels, less authority, less standardization, less national. More honesty, more integrity, more trust, more local.
Having been around the globe and living through a generation we see the changes but also the repetition. We can see what will stay and what will go as a fad, at least in food. But as food is life it has become a metaphor for life in itself for me. It is not only daily physical sustenance it is a nurturing of the mind and the soul, a sharing, a communion of like-minded people.
Nature, its offerings, and the people who have become the custodians of the natural process have formed a circle that will become stronger as the masses fade away in their unconsciousness. Whether it is the active farmer, an conscientious producer, or the thoughtful buyer they are interdependent in the path of life towards sincere appreciation and joy.
Eureka Meulens with the help of Nico Steyn and the initial effort of the Uys cousins is good work and best practice in motion. It improves as they go along. As we bake with the flour, as we give feedback, as the stones are adjusted and sifters tested, farmers are coaxed into better and "older" methods. Yes, the price will not go down by using natural methods, it will however enrich all of our lives, wherever you participate in your support of goodness.
How We Mill Our Flour
Keep it simple
Eureka Meulens only uses high-quality, locally-produced wheat. In the region in and around Heidelberg and Swellendam conservation farming is the norm and wheat is cultivated in soil worked by light-toothed implements rather than disturbed by the conventional disc plough. As much as possible of the residue of the harvesting process is also left on the land. As a result, the soil is high in natural organic materials and the development of soil organisms like earthworms is greatly stimulated. As a consequence the soil needs less fertilizer – especially nitrogen – and its texture and structure is improved by these sustainable practices and the effect of the soil organisms on an ongoing basis.
Wheat is grown in a crop rotation system in which leguminous plants plays a prominent role, which means that the soil is naturally enriched with nitrogen and that the chemical control of insects and weeds is drastically reduced. The conclusion drawn from this implies that the wheat grown here possesses more of a natural sustenance than otherwise and that it does not suffer to the same extent through artificial chemical additives.
Apart from the unique production process the local wheat undergoes, Eureka Meulens flour is also ground in a very special way. This grinding process ensures a particularly natural and healthy end product which bakers would also find more economical to use than the standard commercial alternatives. Standard commercial flour-mills employ equipment requiring some 14 sets of steel rollers or hammers to grind the wheat. These rollers or hammers generate extremely high temperatures, inevitably damaging the wheat germ and also destroying valuable vitamins and enzymes in the process. During the grinding process the fine, top-quality flour is continually abstracted for use in cake flour and self-raising flour. In contrast, the grinding process at Eureka Meulens utilizes only three sets of rollers, whereupon the flour finds a grinding-stone. It is a much slower and more natural process that generates relatively little heat.
During this grinding process no components are extracted from the flour. Therefore, white bread flour at Eureka Meulens retains all the healthy wheat germ (about 3%), fiber, natural oils, vitamins and enzymes, making it rich in fiber, wholesome and nutritious. This also contributes to the extended shelf-life of bread baked with this flour. Furthermore, this gives rise to a 3 to 4 percent higher water absorption potential, definitely advantaging the economical baker.