After being committed to sustainability for the first decade of our business, we realized that the story of our flour was all at once incomplete.
Even though we were using organic flour, we did not not know what farm our flour was coming from, how it was being grown or harvested, how it was milled, how long it had been bagged before we received it, and all the really complex steps in between.
It was time to reclaim our main ingredient and in doing so finally take flour from the farm to our table and yours.
Cutting out all the middle men, we now partner with a few 5th generation organic farms to grow organic grain just for us. We stone-mill our wheat using our New American Stone Mill built in Elmore, VT.
Our farmers are Noreen and Lee from Doubting Thomas Farms in Moorhead, Minnesota. And Harold from Janie’s Mill in Illinois. Our mill-builder is Andrew. We are proud to say that we know them by name, because in doing so, we are playing an active role in making sure our local, regional, national food systems and economies are coming back to life – just like our flour.
Not long ago, each neighborhood across the country had farmers, a miller, and bakers. Farmers would harvest, clean and store their wheat season to season. Once the grain was clean and dry, they would take the wheat to the town miller. There, all three components of the wheat berry were ground together by stone: the fiber-rich bran, the nutrient-dense germ, and the starchy inner most component.
Due in large part to the advent of the roller mill (a different type of mill that vastly sped up milling at the cost of nutritional integrity), the wheat economy became fixed on massive scale instead of the localized, sustainable, high-quality system it was. In agriculture, turns out, massive scale equals massive destruction.
All across the country, smaller, organic, generational family farms and the communities they supported were shuttered and gave way to monocultures and massive, frankenstein’ed grain fields. Countless family farms were over-taken by the industrial agriculture giants who put profit over people, and manipulated our farmland with pesticide, herbicide, and artificial and destructive systems in order to sustain the massive scaling of wheat.
The costs of taking wheat to scale were great – costs to our environment, our health, and to the human beings that lived and worked in those communities. Wheat production became far removed from what it used to be, which, at its heart, is a pretty simple, high quality, localized, complete approach.
We’ve made a deliberate effort to remove ourselves from these destructive processes and in doing so are also giving you the choice to do the same. Supporting better environmental standards, local and regional food systems, local and regional communities and jobs – turns out, none of this is a big leap; it’s actually a fairly simple thing to do because we’ve committed to it. We can create change right here and right now-so we’re going to.
We are grateful to have built something that continues to give us the tremendous privilege to do right by our customers, our precious team members, and this very special community within which we live!
– LARA & ROBERT SWAN, OWNERS