[Market-farming] Re: Weird Veggies vs. Whole Grains

Andrews, Shirley F. SAndrews at AcademicBookServices.com
Tue Nov 11 09:08:36 EST 2003


I can tell you a lot about bread baking.  I have a commercial kitchen in
my home and operate a whole grain bakery as a part-time job.  It is like
farming a lot of hard work but something I believe in strongly.  I
originally started baking for myself then friends then it evolved into a
business I was hoping would take me out of the business world but don't
think that is going to happen.  This summer I participated at the local
markets along with the farmers and did quite well in sales.  I also take
the next step and use only organic ingredients so I end up with a high
investment in the product.  I would do great if I sold everything I made
but the any leftover product greatly decreases my profit margin.  I do
better financially on other products (energy bars, candies, muffins).

As far as the grain goes, it is not a matter of having it fresh at your
doorstep.  The same grain grown in the south would not end up being the
same if grown in the west primarily because of the moisture content.
The high moisture results in a softer wheat which is not suitable for
bread making.  I primarily use red winter wheat, kamut, and spelt (all
grown in Montana).  Once grain is harvested it stays fresh in that state
(a long time-years) until ground into flour.  Once ground (like veggies
once picked) it immediately begins to lose nutrient value.  The germ
(oil) in the kernel goes rancid thus the reason for separating from the
endosperm and outer bran layer which gives us white flour (along with
bleaching).  We actually feed the animals the good stuff and we eat the
worthless part of the wheat kernel.

I grind my flour fresh before baking.  I use an electric mill Whisper
Mill which sells for about 200 and comes with a lifetime guarantee.   It
does a great job although I would probably prefer to use a stone grain
mill but this is not practical for the volume I need.  I bake in regular
ovens but believe the brick ovens would be a better way to go.  There is
a difference in bed baked in electric (I'm not a scientist but I know
there are some kind of electron reasons).  The other big issue would be
yeast.  Again because of volume I use commercial yeast but believe using
your own starter is best (the bread lasts longer although it does not
rise as much).

Educating people about the goodness of whole grain is just as difficult
if not more so as educating them about the goodness of local grown.  I
was there myself not that many years ago and it has taken time for me to
discover the advantages of both.  I am a vegetarian and live primarily
on the local grown veggies, my homemade bread products, and fruits
purchased from health food store.  I never shop at a local grocery store
and am a strong advocate for all you hard working people out there
trying to make a difference in this nutrition deficit world.

Hope this helps. 

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Paul A.
Bock
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:45 AM
To: 'Market Farming'
Subject: [Market-farming] Re: Weird Veggies vs. Whole Grains

Hello,
  I can see what you mean about putting weird things like whole grains
in
with a CSA share.  I suppose my question about whole grains was meant as
a
kind of net to see who's out there.  I am reading Gene Logdson's book
about
raising all kinds of grains from wheat to corn, to rye, o rice, etc.
Also I
am reading Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book, which is great for whole grain
breads.  I was hoping I would find a couple people that might have been
following a similar line and have some experience with making great
whole
grain bread by having a small plot of some grain available
"right-outside-the-door" for the freshest flour available.  Also I was
hoping that maybe I would find a couple people that grow their own
grains to
feed as a supplement the normal feed ration to their cows, horses, oxen,
and/or chickens to curb a high feed bill.  I believe these people are
out
there, maybe they just don't subscribe to this list.  It might be a
long-shot, but fresh whole-grain bread made with from-the-farm grains
might
be a good CSA item.  But I also understand that good bread making could
be a
whole extra occupation/endeavor all unto its own.  If there is anyone
interested in any of this, I would like to toss out another title that
got
me started on all this stuff.  "Bread Builders" by Alan Scott, and I
think
Dan Wing.  Basically how to make and bake bread in a masonry oven.  They
even tell you how to build one, oven that is.

-Paul Bock
Stone Gully

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