Whole Grain Connection

Whole Grain Connection

The Whole Grain Connection

WGC California Whole Grain logo

WGC Whole Grain logo

Welcome to the Whole Grain Connection.
We are a non-profit organization based in California, aiming to enhance the desirability and availability of whole grain breads and other whole grain products from organically and sustainably grown grains and thereby connecting farmers and bakers.
We hope you will visit our website often for our latest website publications and activities. 
Contact information:
Attn: Monica Spiller
Whole Grain Connection
500 West Middlefield Road #2
Mountain View
California 94043
e-mail: barmbaker@aol.com
Telephone: 650 938 2865

What is whole grain?
Whole grain wheat is the same as wheat seed. If it is a genuine unbroken wheat seed you can soak it and sprout it. The end of the seed that produces the sprout is the germ. The thin, colored seed skin is the bran, which is tasty, edible and a necessary part of food; it is fiber and it carries other foods all the way through the digestive system without being itself digested. The middle endosperm of the wheat seed or grain is filled with starch and protein which is the store of food for the new wheat sprout. The growing plant can only use this food store if the vitamins, minerals and other plant nutrients are provided by the bran and germ. Similarly, people can only use the starch and protein from wheat properly if they also eat the germ and bran at the same time, since these supply the needed nutrient helpers for proper digestion and use for growth and energy.

Whole grain Sonora wheat photo

New in March 2016

Two upcoming events:

Until now the California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) could not properly certify non-proprietary seed such as Sonora or Red Fife.
We have had the good fortune that John Palmer, the new Director of the CCIA, has worked to develop an appropriate program: Heritage Grain Seed QA. After all we need to be able to verify, through a third party, that our grain seeds are what we say they are, and that we are selling good seed. The new program will be unveiled for us at a meeting on March 11, 2016. If you are interested please see the event flyer posted in our Events section. Please let us know if you would like to attend.
For local grain cleaning and storage, there are just a few models for us to turn to.
Ed Sills at Pleasant Grove Farms, in Pleasant Grove, CA, started from scratch and has built an exemplary cleaning and storage facility on his farm. We can learn from his experiences, view a wide range of equipment and be inspired by the possibilities for the future. Ed will give us a tour on March 21, 2016. Please see the flyer posted in the Events section, and let us know if you would like to attend. Space is limited so let us know soon.
Two new additions to the Recipe section:
 A Universal Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread recipe: some wheat needs very little water to make a self supporting dough for a basket loaf while other wheat, especially if the protein is high, will hold large amounts of water. The method allows for adjustment of water used in the dough. Also emphasis is made on the value of waiting to actually develop the dough by kneading, until the dough has doubled, by which time it will be very well hydrated and fermented.
Beginning Whole Wheat Sourdough Breadmaking: answering some of the beginning questions about equipment, kneading, making a sourdough starter and more.



Whole Grain Connection has been marketing organic whole grain products for farmers, using a "tm" designation for our "certification mark". We have added a "Grown & made in California" logo to this certification mark. Products are now being sold with this new mark, which you'll recognize by the California poppy art and the font. The beautiful California poppy artwork is by Margo Bors, an artist from San Francisco.

We can approve products for the use of this logo and prepare label designs for other farmers selling their organic whole grains. Please contact us for further information.

Phytic acid

Phytic acid is an important factor in whole grain foods, because it binds with nutritionally valuable minerals in the grain, and reduces their usefulness. Fortunately the enzyme phytase is also present in wheat and this will break down the phytic acid quite rapidly if the conditions are optimized.

Phytic acid and whole wheat flour - a discussion

Spelt and Emmer

We have continued to work with landrace spelt and emmer varieties suited to the Coastal and Sierra Foothill regions of California. 

Letter to spelt and emmer growers May 2013

From our archives
We've been in the news. 

Mountain View Voice. January 27, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle. January 3, 2012


For the Farmers:

Knowledge of the fungal diseases that attack grains leads to good organic prevention practices.

Click on the link below to read about Preventing Fungal Disease on Wheat, written by Monica Spiller in 2009. This was an exercise in understanding the problems from the viewpoint of the organic farmer. As with all our work at the Whole Grain Connection, this is an ongoing project, always waiting to be updated or corrected. The information was gleaned from many on-line sources and in particular from Integrated Pest Management for Small Grains, Publication 3333 of the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Preventing Fungal Disease on Wheat