By Ellen Walsh

Lundberg Family 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.

Nurturing over 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 rice kernel.

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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 to come.

Water management 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.

Direct 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.

History 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 and practicality.

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 methods.


Other Great Related Links:
The Secret's in the Rice

Purity of Seed - The benchmark of Lundberg Family Farms
Cooking with Lundberg Family Farm Rice
Spanish Paella - Quality and Purity of Seed

Lundberg Family Farms - Photo Galleries:
Rice Varieties
Purity of Seed
Rice Products

Lundberg Recipes
Buffalo Filet on Lundberg Family Farms Grilled Risotto Cake with Bleu Oyster Mushrooms

Hot Smoked Chicken with Wehani Rice Salad

Golden Chanterelle and Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu Stir Fry on Lundberg Family Farms Organic Jasmine Rice, Sweet Red Chili Sauce, Cilantro Oil and Sweet Soy

Lobster Paella

Lundberg Family Farms Lobster Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Pumpkin

Paella Codornices en Hoja de Parra (Quails wrapped in grape leaves and pancetta)

Paella Valenciana

Sesame Glazed Chicken with Lundbergs' Organic Black Japonica Rice

to Buy Organic Rice in our FBWorld On line Shoppe! 

Lundberg Family Farms
5370 Church Street, Richvale, CA 95974
Phone: 530.882.4551
Fax: 530.882.45.00

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