By Ellen Walsh
Farm develops, breeds, and harvests their own seeds and varieties,
not only to ensure varietal survival (and supply) for generations
to come, but also in order to ensure the purity of the varietals.
15 different varieties of rice from their 3,500 acre family farm,
all are grown to be sold as brown rice, except for the exotic
varietals, such as arborio, sushi, and California long grain.
Rice is harvested at 16- 18% moisture content, compared to conventionally
grown rice which is harvested at the high moisture content of
22- 26%. This additional growing time insures a mature and flavorful
on Images for Captions
Many of the varieties
we grow are not grown anymore by the California rice industry,
so we keep the varieties growing ourselves, says Bryce Lundberg.
We propagate our own seed. Seed operations often have purity as
their goal, but what is unusual here is that a crop producing
farm would have acreage set aside to create their own seed. These
small plots ensure the quality as well as the purity for generations
and crop rotation are the most important weed and pest control
tools we use. We apply a deep water flood ( 8 – 15 inches
) about one week after the seed is sown. Approximately 21 days
of deep water is used to control water grasses. The field is then
allowed to dry for approximately 35 days. The dry up method is
used to kill broadleafs and sedges but does not harm the rice
seedlings. Close monitoring during the dry up assures that young
rice plants can successfully compete with weeds for ground space.
When the weeds wilt, a 3 – 4 inch flood is applied.
Organic and Nutra
Farmed rice is stored in air tight bins. No chemical fumigants
are used of any kind. A large air conditioner is used during the
warmer weather to keep the grains cool, and moisture, temperature,
freshness and milling quality are continuously monitored. In the
event that insect control becomes necessary, all natural air is
removed from the tanks and replaced with carbon dioxide.
From Lundberg's Wild Rice Harvest...
There was time for one more gathering
under the early morning light of the last moment before the wild
rice harvest. Then, the beautiful crop of majenta, purple, pink
and lavender hues of wild rice would become transformed into grain
by the most modern machinery available on the market today. The
wild rice grains harvested from the Lundberg Family Farms would
have fulfilled the highest expectations of the Spanish peasants,
as they took their lunch break and created the paellas right there
in the fields and forests where they worked.
of the Spanish Paella
This rustic peasant dish hails from
Valencia, Spain. History shows us that this traditional male cooking
event was an outgrowth of simple primitive methods that fell in
line with the natural hunter gatherer activities of the 19th century
Valencian male. It would not be uncommon to find 25 men setting
up their rustic, outdoor cook stations for a village feast, with
an emphasis on purity of ingredients, rather than elaborate recipes.
While the women
concentrated in the kitchen on more elaborate tasks, such as candy
making and baked goods, the men set up the heavy pans they carried
with them to the woods and fields, and used ingredients that were
part of their daily hunt or harvest. This was the birth of the
paella in 19th century Valencia.
Referred to as
the caldoso, the paella pan sat huddled over an open fire on twigs
and tinder found in the local surroundings. It was often left
to balance on sticks that would provide a proper height above
the flame, insuring even cooking, with an avoidance of scorching.
The name caldoso means cooked in a stew of mud or metal, so often
the pans were crude and homemade. However, the paella was a term
that referred to the metal cooking pan without tails, or handles,
that the men hunter/gatherers took to the fields with them in
preparation of their own food, demonstrating that the final form
of the paella pan as we know it today, was an outgrowth of convenience
The purpose of
the paella was to create a food of semidry consistency. The flavoring
of the rice revolved around the ingredients that grew in abundance
from the area.
A key ingredient
in the creation of the most magnificent of paellas, was the source
of water. According to Spanish writings, paella does not taste
same when created in Madrid by the same cook who prepared it in
Valencia. The battle was over the water. Like many chemical reactions,
the divalent metal concentration, in particular calcium and magnesium,
is fundamental for good paella. The hard water, as the one of
Valencia (with elevated content of Ca and Mg) is preferable to
the soft water (as the one found in Madrid).
Today, with so
many wonderful stocks at our finger tips, we by pass that argument
by using a superior chicken stock, or even a veal or mirepoix
stock. The choices are abundant. However in this recipe presentation,
true Spanish cooking techniques were used, such as the final infusion
of the cooked rice with oil, salt, and the choice of vegetables
of authentic Spanish chef/owner Ed Pizzuti, of the Zangria Supper
Club located in Petaluma, California. The toss and final cook
off of the paella, along with the usage of liquid to cover the
top of the grains with enough liquid while adding more as needed,
is how the Spanish still make it today with their traditional