Posts tagged #2011

a time for planting


It was a perfect day for planting. Today the White Sonora Wheat went into the ground out at Sossaman Farms. We helped Steve Sossaman and Al load up the drill (that's the green thing behind the tractor) with seed but mostly pretended to be farmers.

The seed will hang out in the ground through winter and start to come up in the spring. By May we should have 10 acres of amber waves!

Posted on December 27, 2011 and filed under Blog.

Tempe in 1877

...Grain looks well and the indications are of a beautiful harvest, the soild is almost excellent producing crops in profusions, the water supply of the valley is ample, and the purity and softness of the water is proverbial. Here the young and vigorous man can advantageously plant themselves on rich farms an increase in means which the country is growing. Your, Robert Daniels, 1877
Posted on November 22, 2011 and filed under Blog.

chapalote corn


I wanted to show you the dark coffee color of the chapolote corn. The cobs that we milled last week were a lighter variation. Hopefully the next crop will come in these beautiful dark browns.

This cob is from Native Seeds/Search.  The great folks down there have been teaching us alot about the rich agricultural history of the southwest. If you haven't yet, go check out their selection of indigenous and heritage seeds on their website!

Posted on November 17, 2011 and filed under Blog.

the old mill

There is an article in today's State Press about the renovation of the old mill building on Mill Avenue. We're excited to see the mill get a fresh coat of paint but more excited for this important piece of Tempe history get some attention. 

We've always said that the re-establishment of Hayden Flour Mills is in the spirit of the mill that Charles T. Hayden founded in 1872. Simply put. Charles T. Hayden was a great man. He had a vision for Tempe and Arizona and he was known as a friend to all people. 

Before the roller mills and bleached flour, Hayden Flour Mills was powered by the Salt River and stone milled the wheat that came from Arizona farms, mostly grown by the Pima Indians. Today we would call this flour fancy, organic, local, unbleached or natural. But in 1872, that's just how it was. 

We hope that the restoration of the mill building is also a restoration of some of the things that Charles T. Hayden valued: the land, the people and good tasting flour. 

old mill with truch infront.jpg
Posted on November 16, 2011 and filed under Blog.

california wheat commission

With Marco big.jpg

 A few weeks ago we got to meet some great people from the California and Arizona wheat commission. They are the people that ensure the quality of our wheat. Janice Cooper (on the right) is the California wheat commissioner and a lover of the artisan loaf!  e i 

Posted on November 15, 2011 and filed under Blog.

the mother corn


Yesterday Gary Nabhan brought us some Chapalote corn. This is one of the oldest corn varieties in the southwest.

We wanted to see if we could turn this beautiful corn into a tasty and colorful polenta.But first we had to get all the kernels off the cob. Luckily Marco was there to help us. We ran it through the stone mill and Robbie turned it in to polenta. Beautiful color and taste!

Posted on November 9, 2011 and filed under Blog.

Flour for sale at Singh Farms!

What are you doing this Saturday? Now that the heat has broken and it's starting to feel like Fall, get out to Singh Farms at the 101 and Thomas. They have a farmers market from 8am-1pm. It's an secret oasis in the middle of the city--you've probably driven past it on the 101 and never even realized it. 

They have an outdoor kitchen and you can sample the best of the garden for $5 a plate. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning. 

And while you are out there pick up some of our Polenta, Cornmeal or Whole Grain Flours!


Posted on October 11, 2011 and filed under Blog.

how to dress a millstone

Not with a shirt and pants.

The millstone needs to be sharpened every few years. Over time the grooves wear down and it doesn't grind as evenly and efficiently. It's an ancient art and very few people sill know how its done.

Roger Jansen gave us demo on how to dress a millstone at the 2011 Kneading Conference at Washington University. Here he is passing on his craft:

millstone web.jpg
Posted on September 26, 2011 and filed under Blog.

the first stone mill

Since moving the mill into the back of Pane Bianco we've been busy getting the mill prepped and tuned before we could turn it on. First we had to reassemble it, have it specially wired (and then re-wired because somebody but the motor back on wrong:me!) and then we had to level out the milling stones which had shifted in transit. But finally, this morning, we flipped the switch and threw in the first bag of grain. A Organic Turkey Red from Kansas. 

And guess what? It worked!

We were so pleased with our first batch of flour that Marco, Pane's baker extrordinare, took it right from the hopper and put it in his mixer. It will have to proof over night, but tomorrow we are going to bake some loafs and we are crossing our fingers for something inspirational. Stay tuned!

Posted on August 30, 2011 and filed under Blog.

field to table

The wheat was harvested on Saturday. Milled on Monday. And Marco baked with it on Tuesday. 


Look at the  golden color of the durum wheat. That's what gives pasta its yellow color. 

Berry and flour_web.jpg
Posted on June 10, 2011 and filed under Blog.

the first harvest

Josh Perrault and Wyatt Smith at Santa Rosa farms have signed up to be our first local farmers. It turns out that Maricopa is one of the best places to grow durum wheat. Most of their crop will be be shipped to Italy and be turned into pasta. But we were lucky enough to get a few hundred pounds to mill oursleves.  

farm brothers.jpg

 We are looking forward to working with the great people out at Santa Rosa!

Posted on June 4, 2011 and filed under Blog.