Pines provides the best quality wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass, rye grass, kale and alfalfa of any grower anywhere in the world. We started with wheatgrass more than 40 years ago and soon added the other products. Our long experience with wheatgrass is why we can offer the best price and best quality to you for our real wheatgrass ingredient. If you are purchasing greens from another grower, please check with us. We know we can beat their quality and probably can also beat their price. Our 8-step process ensures not only unmatched quality but products from 100% organic farmers who truly want to protect the planet.
We grow real wheatgrass as nature intends. We grow it slowly over the winter in the correct climate. In fact, our location in Northeastern Kansas is the location that grew the wheatgrass detailed in books by Ann Wigmore. We still use many of the same fields and follow the same methods for the research she discussed in her books. That means we grow it over winter for harvest at the jointing stage in the early spring. Even after 200 days, the wheatgrass is still shorter than growing it quickly in a tray. The bottom picture on the left shows real wheatgrass at the jointing stage in the spring after 200 days. The top picture shows unnaturally grown tray wheatgrass after 10 days with its tangle of moldy roots.
Real Wheatgrass Grows Slowly Over the Winter in Often-Freezing Temperatures
We plant real wheatgrass in the fall. The air is starting to get cold at night, but the soil is still warm. For countless generations farmers developed real wheatgrass as a cold weather crop. They grow it slowly through the winter. The warm soil and cold air induces a complex root structure. In the first 30 days, the roots have gone down a foot or more deep in our rich glacial soil. Yet, the leaves are only about one or two inches tall. With deep roots and very short grass, the plant is ready to go through the winter in a “dormant state.”
Although the leaves do not grow much during the cold of winter, the roots are busy building a reserve of energy for the spring. This picture is in the early spring about 190 days after planting. The daytime temperature seldom gets above 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and is still freezing most nights. The plant is just beginning to develop an exceptionally high nutritional level. Charles Schnabel discovered this very high nutrition during the short once-a-year period known as the jointing stage. Steve Meyerowitz wrote the book, “Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine.” Like Ann Wigmore, he praised Schnabel’s work and the medical research he initiated. In fact, Meyerowitz dedicated his book to Schnabel. He called him “The Father of Wheatgrass” in his dedication.
This picture shows Pines harvesting wheatgrass at the jointing stage. It is shorter than wheatgrass grown unnaturally in a tray. Yet, it contains four times more chlorophyll. Likewise, nearly all other nutrients are significantly higher.
We Still Follow Schnabel’s Standards for Harvest in that Narrow Window
Schnabel harvested wheatgrass and other cereal grasses at that stage, dried it and made it into powder and tablets. He supplied his Cerophyl product to doctors and hospitals. They used it for an extensive body of published medical research. That research inspired Ann Wigmore and other authors. Unfortunately, some of these authors knew very little about farming. They did not understand how the wheat plant grows.
Schnabel harvested real whole food wheatgrass powder at the once-a-year jointing stage. These authors mistakenly recommended growing it in an extremely unnatural manner. Instead of planting seeds one inch apart, they said to put the seeds 300 times closer together than is natural. They said to grow it at temperatures seven times warmer than natural. This rapid growth in too-warm, too-wet crowded conditions is the perfect environment for mold and bacteria. That is why some suffer nausea when taking these unnatural wheatgrass shots.
We know this because many years ago we experimented with growing wheatgrass unnaturally. We have produced some good looking tray grown wheatgrass. Even so, we also have a lab (the same one used by Schnabel) where we can test for mold and bacteria and other factors. No matter how carefully we tried to grow it, we had high levels of bacteria and mold. We have also tested wheatgrass shots from local juice bars and health food stores. The same problem existed.
We Test every 1,000 Kg Batch While “Wheatgrass Shots” are Never Tested
Those who grow the unnatural form of wheatgrass do not test it for mold and bacteria, so no one knows how bad it is. Our bodies know, and many people become ill taking these “wheatgrass shots.” Sometimes, the reaction is analeptic shock from the mold toxins. Sometime, the mold creates candida in the intestinal tract that is very difficult to overcome. Certainly, most people tolerate it fairly well. Further, for someone deficient in chlorophyll-rich foods, wheatgrass shots provide benefit, but not nearly the benefits more people have received from wheatgrass grown as nature intended.
The Health Concerns Associated with Moldy Wheatgrass Shots
Those who promote wheatgrass shots credit Charles Schnabel as the man who started it all. Even so, he never grew wheatgrass in trays, and he never used juice. Recent research has shown that whole foods are much better for us than juices because they are “prebiotic.” The fiber in whole foods provides the media for probiotic bacteria. These “friendly” bacteria are essential for good colon health and proper assimilation of nutrients. Juices do not qualify as prebiotic because juicing removes fiber. Not only do juices pass through the body too quickly for thorough assimilation, without fiber, juices can do harm.
Without whole food fiber, extracted juice can interfere with gut ecology. A study by Dr. Eric Martens, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan shows one effect. These scientists discovered that juice without fiber can create problems. With the fiber removed, they found that organisms in the intestine eat away at the protective mucosal layer of the gut wall.
Common Sense as Well as Very Complete Research Says Whole Foods are Best
Schnabel and many who followed him, such as David Reuben, author of “The Save Your Life Diet,” recognized that our grandparents were correct. They had it right when they said we need to eat plenty of greens for roughage. When we extract the juice from the fiber, we are creating a food that does not work well in our digestive system.
Schnabel was right in so many ways. He was right about the correct way to grow and harvest wheatgrass. Schnabel was correct to harvest at that once-a-year moment of peak nutrition and dry it as a whole food powder. He was correct that whole foods are better than juices. Schnabel was correct that the glacial soils in the Northeast corner of Kansas, Northern Missouri and Central Iowa are perfect for wheatgrass. He was right that growing wheatgrass in an appropriate climate with ample rainfall where irrigation is not necessary produces to best quality. We grow in the rainy region of Kansas used by Schnabel. That avoids the horrible damage to the Ogallala Aquifer by farmers in the dry regions of our State.
The Only Producer that Follows the Standards Used in Medical Research
Pines is the only producer in Kansas that follows Schnabel’s standards. In fact we still use some of his same fields for our real wheatgrass. Pines built brand new dehydrators in 2010 and 2011. We built them exclusively for certified organic, non-GMO Project Verified human food. Pines still uses Schnabel’s drying method but improved on it to make it more gentle, more consistent with lower temperatures to better protect enzymes. Our clean modern facilities stand as a marked contrast to the animal feed dehydrators. Pines also follows Schnabel’s standard of only growing in regions where we use natural rainfall rather than irrigation.
Pines’ People Stand for 100% Organic Farming and Sustainable Methods
We oppose more than 70 years of draining the Ogallala Aquifer to grow pesticide-based alfalfa for the confined animal meat industry. We oppose these pesticide-based animal feed dryers being used for organic greens for the natural food market. For these agribusinesses, it is a profitable sideline to their animal feed business, but it is not in the interest of the consumers.
We also oppose what these and other farmers in that region of Kansas did to the Ogallala Aquifer. That precious fossil water took tens of thousands of years to accumulate. They wasted that once pure water growing mostly pesticide-and-herbicide-based animal feed for 70 years. Abuse by farmers in semi-arid regions of our State have depleted and contaminated the Ogallala Aquifer. Their thirsty crops are appropriate only in areas with adequate rainfall or at least with easily replenished ground water for irrigation.
Pines Leadership in Organic Farming Dates Back More then 40 Years
For more than 40 years, Pines lead the true organic farm movement in Kansas. We oppose the dual farming used by our competitors. Dual farming is when a farmer grows both organic and non-organic crops. We have practiced 100% organic farming for more than 40 years. Unlike other growers, we have never used any poisons from the chemical companies. Pines’ people even helped write the organic standards in the early 1980s for Kansas. Those standards served as one of the models used for the Organic Program established in 1990. We are proud to follow a tradition for real wheatgrass that dates back nearly 90 years, established by the father of wheatgrass.