Farro is the ancestor of all wheats known today, including soft and durum wheat, it is documented that its cultivation dates back to 7000 BC in Syria and Mesopotamia, where it was used for the preparation of porridge and buns. Farro has been the staple food of the Assyrians, Egyptians and all the ancient peoples of the Middle East and North Africa: the Romans used to prepare puls with farro flour, a soft polenta which fed the soldiers and the populace. With the emergence of wheat, Farro suffered from a “moment of crisis”, but not in Garfagnana where it has always been cultivated and is still ground in ancient stone mills.
The Garfagnana Farro that in 1996 received recognition by the European Union of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) must be grown on suitable soils, poor in nutrients, in a range of altitudes between 300 and 1000 m above sea level.
The seeds are sown in the autumn, in previously prepared soil, using a substance named Triticum dicoccum.
The production of Garfagnana Farro, as was customary in the area, has to be done without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides: given the high hardiness of the plant, Farro cultivated with the traditional technique is in fact an organic product.
The Farro harvest occurs in summer, with normal grain combine harvesters. The geographical link with the Garfagnana Farro form an inseparable pair and presents special characteristics such as to make it easily distinguishable with respect to Farro grown in other areas.