Thursday, 21 April 2011

Towards a local loaf?

Over the pond in Amherst, Massachusetts the lovely people at the Wheatberry Bakery and Cafe are able to bake a local loaf using flour from traditional flour varieties grown in the valley around their bakery.  They have also set up a CSA for grain and beans, allowing people to get their staples from the local area.  Helped by their dedication to bring grain growing back to an area now considered inappropriate for wheat growing, local farms (including their own) are trialling and growing traditional wheat varieties.  A couple of years ago they were able to make a true local loaf. 

Wheatberry Cafe Local Bread.  Thanks to Adrie and Ben for permission to use this photo.

Aren't they beautiful?

You can read Ben's account of their creation here.

We're lucky to get our wheat from Northumberland, pretty local compared to the distances traveled by the majority of bread flour.  But it's one of the great ironies of the modern food system that I can see wheat being grown from our flat, but it is almost impossible to buy wheat from Fife.

We've decided to attempt to grow our own loaf in a very local way - from our back garden!  The Real Bread Campaign is having a Bake Your Lawn initiative, and we've dedicated a tiny patch of our pocket-handkerchief garden to growing a handful of seeds kindly given to the girls by Gilchesters Organic.  We've put them in.  Only one question remains - will they sprout before the pigeons find them?

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