Maine Grains - Food economy

agmss15

There is an article about a local Grist Mill and the possibilities of a new food economy in the NY Times today. I like the woman who spearheaded this venture a lot. The new food culture in Maine is quite something although generally more coastal. And as a child of back to the landers I appreciate the young farmers who mix their ideals with education and pragmatism.,

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/24/opinion/us-grain-industry.html


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Lars

I ordered some wheat grain from Bluebird Grain Farms today because I was not sure where I could buy wheat grain here, and I did not want to go around shopping for it. I think I may have been able to find wheat grain at Whole Foods or perhaps at a health food store, but I decided that I liked the convenience of buying on line. Most suppliers only sold 25 or 50 pound bags, and I did not want that much - I ordered a five pound bag and will see how far that will go for me.

My father used to grow wheat (in the winter), but I never thought about doing anything with it. It did make the fields look pretty and green in January, but that's the most I remember about it. I've only seen wheat growing in the winter, and so I assume it is primarily a winter crop. My father also grew oats in the winter. Anyway, these grains might be harvested at different times of the year, so that there is always a constant supply of new grain, I think.

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annie1992

agmss, I'm happy to see small companies coming back, and people buying from them. We've seen what can happen when big corporations control a centralized food supply, and it's not pretty.

Best of luck to Maine Grains, may they have a long and profitable run!

Annie

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bbstx

@Lars, IME winter wheat is often grown in the south, including Texas, when farmers are double-cropping a field. As soon as the soybeans are harvested, they plant winter wheat (usually soft red wheat which is milled into cake flour). Then as soon as the wheat is harvested, they plant soybeans. Lather, rinse, repeat. Did your dad double crop his wheat fields?

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Lars

Yes, my father did grow double crops, but he did not grow soybeans. I'm not sure what he grew on the same fields as wheat, but I do know that he grew corn and maize in the summer - probably as food for pigs, but he sold most of it. The farm was pretty large, and part of it was a couple of miles from the main part. The main part of the farm was at least a mile wide, but the part near the creek was swampy, and so he did not grow crops there - but it had a large pecan orchard. I remember he used to sell pecans in the shell for 10¢ a pound in the 1960s. They're probably a dollar a pound in the shell now.

When I was very young, he grew cotton, but I don't remember whether he grew wheat or oats in the same field in the winter.

I spent as little as possible outdoors when I was growing up - partly because I have severe allergies. I had to wear a mask a lot of the time to go outside, but this was seasonal. I did not like working in the fields in the summer, especially since it was usually over 100°.

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l pinkmountain

I looked and looked for a mill in Michigan that would sell retail mail order. Ironically there is a big wholesale one very near me, but they don't sell in small batches. Not sure if there are any near me in another state. For mail order, I would try King Arthur Flour in VT, only because I like how they have carved out a niche for themselves and promoted home baking in so many ways! So far, I've stuck to mostly the store, since I can get KA flour there, but nothing specialty. I got some buckweat from Bob's Red Mill through Amazon. I was ordering something else anyway. They don't do direct mail order, but the products are good. My local grocery used to carry a lot of Bob's Red Mill products but I guess demand was low because they cut way back, even prior to the pandemic.

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annie1992

L, during "normal" times, the DeZwaan Windmill Gardens in Holland, Michigan, grinds flour in the old mill from soft white wheat grown in West Michigan and sells it in 1 pound or 3 pound bags. Their website said it may be "limited or unavailable" due to the pandemic, but other times it was always available although a bit pricey. $3 a pound or $7 for a 3 pound bag.

Annie

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l pinkmountain

Yeah, but I was looking for kind of the holy grail, grown local (at least Midwest local, which shouldn't be that difficult, we are part of the US bread basket), milled local, and sold via mail order . . . So sad and ironic, our local bakery that baked for Aunt Millie's bread, (it was a factory, not a little shop) closed down last year. Now their local employees that kept their jobs are commuting an hour to Kalamazoo. More and more consolidation seems to be the trend. We had several small bakery shops in my town when I was growing up. Now hardly a business going except for fast food and discount marts, can stay open in my small town.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

For those needing yeast, Bob'sRedMill has plenty it seems. They also seem really well stocked all around. By limiting packages to two. Some things are out of stock but expected to be available Sept. 1.

Shipping is free over 59$. I found it easy to hit that target back in March. So many seeds and grains we use. Polenta/grits, cous-cous, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.


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l pinkmountain

I guess I need to go back. I went early on in the pandemic and they were out of what I needed. Now I need semolina and graham flour, also some rye. Not sure $59.00 worth though!

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