Spelt (Triticum spelta) belongs to the oldest grain sorts known to mankind. It probably came into being in the Bronze Age (± 1700-700 BC) The word "spelt" in written form can be found in the Edict of the Roman Emperor Diocletianus, dated 301. It is also named in the Bible books of Exodus, Joshua and Ezekiel. In German Spelt is known as Dinkel.
Spelt is very nourishing. Hildegard von Bingen, the famous twelfth century German Benedictine, writes that spelt contains in fact everything needed to sustain human life. "Spelt produces virtuous blood, a pure nature, and the gift of joyfulness". Scientific study conducted by Dr. T. Adlercreuz in Helsinki confirms her nutritional therapy.
Interest was lost in spelt during the second half of the eighteenth century, due to the development of wheat, and because of its more costly production. Today spelt is experiencing a revival because of its quality, taste, nutritional value, and baking properties. There is an ongoing project for cultivating spelt in Pieterburen since 1997.
The farmer, baker, upholsterer, and distiller work together in the production of grain, flour, bread, cushions (filled with the husks), and gin, using locally cultivated organic spelt. All these local products are for sale in and around Pieterburen.