Posts tagged #2013

holiday springerle

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My family has German roots, but this is the first year we've included Springerle cookies as part of our holiday traditions. Last week, I learned how to make these gorgeous anise-flavored cookies with my aunt and cousin. The cookies keep well in airtight containers so it's good one to get done before things get too busy.

I picked out a 17th century Swiss replica of a harvest scene. Look at all the details-- the squirrel in the tree, the spokes of the wagon wheels, the scythes in the hands of the harvesters. 

We got our molds from House on the Hill and used their traditional Springerle recipe with our White Sonora Type 00 flour. It was the softest dough; so easy to work with and to re-roll when we made mistakes. 

I think that these will make great holiday gifts. Or maybe fancy place setting decorations. 

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Posted on November 22, 2013 and filed under Blog, Recipe, Dessert.

pat-a-cake pancakes

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Last week a few little friends came over to help me test out our new pancake mix. Besides having a lot of fun, I learned that with a little help a two year old can mix up the batter! He took his task very seriously-- just love that focused expression. 

What are ways that you let your children participate in the kitchen?

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And, this little guy was happy to eat them hot off the griddle. 

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Posted on November 21, 2013 and filed under Blog.

kabocha squash farratto with crispy kale

kabocha farratto and crispy kale

Farro + Risotto = Farratto. A slow cooked, rich side dish for cozy fall days.

The secret to this dish is the seeds. Squash seeds are packed with flavor. So instead of throwing the squash innards into the compost,  I use them to make a rich buttery broth that's soaked up by the farro. 

Risottos take more care, the constant attention, the stirring. I'll be honest, this certainly isn't a weeknight dish. It's a dish for special occasions. It's a dish for feeding the people you love. For when you're asked to bring a side to Thanksgiving dinner. And for when you wouldn't mind overhearing, "Mmm, who brought this squash dish!"

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Kabocha Squash Farratto with Crispy Kale

1 kabocha squash
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
2 cups farro, soaked overnight
1 cup dry white wine
1 head of kale

salt and pepper

 

1. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. Cut the kabocha squash in half, or substitute any other winter sqaush or pumpkin you have on hand. (I just love the buttery pumpkin flavor of the kabocha.) I've found that a good trick to cutting open a squash is to put it in the oven while it is preheating, about 15 minutes. That way the skin starts to soften up and it is much easier to cut in half.

Scoop out the seeds and set aside in a medium sized pot. Place the two sides of the squash face down on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes. Or until the squash is soft enough to put a fork in, but not squishy. 

While the squash is cooking, cover the squash seeds with 6 cups of water and set over medium heat and allow to simmer until needed. The longer you simmer the more flavor is pulled from the seeds. 

2. Now it's time to start the risotto. In a large pot or high walled skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions until they are translucent. Then add the farro and toast it in the remaining butter for about 2 minutes. Then add the white wine. Stir frequently until the farro absorbs the liquid.

Strain out a cup of the simmering squash seed broth and add it to the farro. Stir frequently until it's absorbed. Repeat 4 more times or until the farro is to your desired softness. (This will depend on how long you soaked the farro. A long soak, less broth. A short soak, more broth.)

3. While the farro is soaking up the liquid, prepare the kale chips. Wash and dry the leaves, cut off the woody stems and spread them out on a baking tray. Brush each leaf with olive oil on both sides, dust with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes in the oven alongside the squash. Keep an eye on the kale, they are easy to burn! They are done, when you the leaves are stiff sheets, that easily crumble.

4. When the farro is saturated with broth, turn the burner to low heat. The squash should be cooked, out of the oven and slightly cool by now. Peel off the skin and chop it into 1 inch cubes. Add two cups to the farratto. (Depending on the size of your squash you might have some leftoever squash, it will keep in the fridge for a few days and you can puree it and add it to yout pancakes in the morning!). Stir in the squash, salt to taste and crumble in the kale chips right before it's served. 

Posted on November 4, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

mediterranean whole-grain veggie burgers

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Mediterranean Whole-grain Veggie Burgers

makes 12 burgers

1 cup tepary beans, soaked overnight
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 cup cracked farro
1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh mint
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
 1 tablespoon salt
2 eggs
 

Dressing

1 large avocado
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/4 cup cilantro

 

 

 

 

1. Prepare the grains. Cook chickpeas and tepary beans together in a large stock pot, simmer for 60-70 minutes or until beans are soft.  In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the cracked farro and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover. It should be the consistency of oatmeal, it will act as the glue to hold the burgers all together.

2. Coarsely chop the red onion, sun dried tomatoes and mint. In a food processor combine the chickpeas, tepary beans, chopped vegetables and spices. Pulse until everything is chopped into tiny pieces but not smooth (think tabouleh, not hummus). In a separate large bowl combine the cracked farro and eggs. Add in the vegetable-bean mixture and thoroughly incorporate. This is where is works best to use your hands to really fuse everything together.

When it's all mixed, it should form into 3 inch x 1 inch patties easily. Set the formed patties on a cooking tray and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will allow them to set and stay together better when they are cooked.  

3. Heat a skillet with a generous amount of your preferred frying oil. Fry the patties, about 4 minutes on each side, or until the edges are crispy. (Frying in a 1/2 inch oil really does make these taste good!)

4. Dressing. With an immersion blender, blend avocado, tahini, squeezed lemon and garlic.  Top the warm veggie burgers with a dollop of this dressing and serve.

Optional: thin slices of swiss cheese, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and toasted whole grain buns. 

Posted on October 22, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

Whole Foods Market!

 We've been pretty quiet this summer. We've had our heads down, working hard to bring you some very exciting news...

Are you ready for it?

You can now find our flours across Arizona's Whole Foods! This means that it just got a little easier for you all to have access to locally grown, no-nonsense, freshly milled flour and grains.

They even made this little film to celebrate the White Sonora grain project. 

Posted on October 10, 2013 and filed under Blog.

beetroot pasta & pistachio pesto

Sometimes the colors of nature are so incredibly vibrant. Just look at this beet pasta. It's pink. Really really pink. The beet certainly gives this pasta a earthy aroma, but mostly it makes for a very cheerful pasta. Perfect for a special occasion or just the end of a long day.

You don't even need one of those fancy pasta machines, you can do it all with a rolling pin and a pizza wheel and three ingredients.  

Our pasta flour is great for hand rolled pastas, it's the perfect ratio of Golden Durum and White Sonora flour. The durum gives the pasta some bite and the White Sonora gives it a light silkiness. 

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Beetroot Pasta

1 large beet
2 eggs
2 cups  pasta flour, plus more for dusting

1. Wash and chop the ends of the beet off.  Boil it for 30-40 minutes or until soft (test it with a fork, if the fork pierces the skin easily, the beet is done). After it is cooked, drain and peel away the beet skin and coarsely chop.

In a food processor, combine eggs with the chopped beet and pulse until creamy and smooth. Remove any big chunks of beets, as those will tear the pasta dough.

2. Next, pile the pasta flour on a good work surface and shape it into a volcano. Pour the beet mixture into the crater that you just formed in your flour volcano. Use a fork or your hands to slowly combine the flour with the beet mixture. As the dough starts to come together, knead it into a ball, adding more flour if you find that the dough is sticking to your work surface (the beet adds a lot of moisture to this dough, so depending on the size of your particular beet you may find that you have to add in up to 1/4 cup flour to stop the dough from sticking). Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. After the dough has rested, cut it into 4 sections. Prepare a large work surface by dusting it with pasta flour. Using a rolling pin, roll one section of the dough out flat. But not too thin. It will take a few repetitions of rolling out, dusting with flour and folding, to get the dough prepped. When the dough feels firm, but not too dry, roll it out to the thinness of a dime. Use a sharp knife of pizza wheel to cut thick noodles (don't worry about getting them all the same size, just eyeball it). Separate the noodles and dust with pasta flour to keep from sticking together. 

You can stop here and freeze the pasta for cooking later. Otherwise, boil a stockpot of salted water, add the fresh pasta and boil for 4 minutes.  

Serve with Pistachio Pesto (see recipe below) or any sauce of your choosing.  

 

 

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Pistachio Pesto

 3 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup pistachios
Salt and pepper

1. Wash the basil and soak the leaves in cold water for 20 minutes, this removes any bitterness. In a food processor blend the basil while slowly adding in the olive oil. Next add the garlic and pistachios and pulse until smooth but still grainy. Salt and pepper to taste. 

To store for later, refrigerate with a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto.  

Posted on October 10, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

brie & pear puff pancake

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Here's a simple way to modify our pancake mix. 

Brie and Pear Puff Pancake

1 bag HFM pancake mix--prepare by adding ingredients as instructed on package (egg, milk, butter)
3 ripe pears, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon butter
Optional: 1 cup of diced ham
4 ounces Brie cheese, sliced thinly
Sugar
Cinnamon
Maple syrup

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. In an oven proof skillet add  1 TBS butter, sauté pears (and optional ham). Add the pancake mixture to the cast iron skillet, stir to mix. Arrange the slices of brie on top of the batter.

3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until done. Turn oven to broil, sprinkle top of pancake with cinnamon and sugar, broil until brie is bubbly.

Serve drizzled with warm maple syrup.

Posted on October 4, 2013 and filed under Breakfast, Recipe.

tangy miso & avocado farro salad

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Tangy Miso and Avocado Farro Salad

Makes 6 Servings 

Dressing
2 tablespoons red miso
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Squeeze of half a lemon
A few generous grates of ginger

 Salad
1 cup farro, soaked overnight
1 bunch green onions, chopped
10 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 carrots, grated
1 avocado, cubed

1. Put the farro in a sauce pan with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 40 minutes, or until the farro is soft and chewy. Meanwhile, blend all of the dressing ingredients together and set aside. 

2. Heat an iron skillet with coconut oil. Fry the tofu cubes on both sides until golden.  Approximately 2 minutes on each side. 

3. Lastly, toss chopped vegetables, cooked farro, fried tofu squares and dressing in a large bowl. Enjoy!

Posted on September 26, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

freekah

Earlier this summer Ramona Farms hosted a Freekah Party out at their farm. No. It wasn't a dance party. It's an old food tradition practiced by the people of the Fertile Crescent. Wheat is harvested early, while the grains are still immature and green. Then the chaff is burned off to reveal a smokey green wheat berry. We'd only even read about it in books, so we were eager to see what this Middle Eastern delicacy tasted like. 

We met up at the Ramona Farms Barns early in the morning and headed out the the fields to collect heads of wheat with our hand tools. (Luckily someone had googled how to use a scythe). When we had filled a large bin with our efforts, we brought the wheat back to the barns and used a flame thrower to burn off the chaff. Because the wheat is so moist it didn't burn with the chaff. We were left with only the charred heads of wheat. We rubbed them between our hands and soft green berries fell out. So sweet and chewy. Even better than what we'd read about.

We ended the morning with an incredible spread of traditional foods, all grown on Ramona Farms. We really hope that the Freekah Party becomes a yearly tradition. Thank you Ramona Farms for a beautiful food culture experience!

in the field freekah in hand cutting wheat burnt heads
Posted on September 16, 2013 and filed under Blog.

farro flatbread

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Cooking with whole grain farro is easy. They are in so many recipes out there right now. But what to do with farro flour? 

On a tip from Maria Speck, I learned that farro flour is very similar to spelt flour in its baking properties; it's very low in gluten and it's an ancient grain. The only difference is farro flour's ruddy color and sweeter taste.

So now you can substitute spelt flour with a local alternative--farro flour. And their are loads of great spelt recipes out there.  

This basic crust recipe is a slight modification from Maria Speck's Spelt Crust Pizza with Fennel, Prosciutto, and Apples. I replaced spelt flour with farro flour. You can find the original recipe in her book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. Or an online version here. 

Farro Flatbread

Makes two 6-slice pizzas.

2 cups farro flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup  ricotta cheese
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg (or 2, if your chickens lay tiny eggs like mine do)
Cornmeal, for the the pizza stone

1. Put all the dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse. In a separate bowl mix the cheese, milk, olive oil and egg together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture in thirds, stopping between additions to pulse everything together. The dough will form into a rough ball. 

2. Take the dough ball out of the food processor and knead by hand until it forms a smooth cohesive ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to rest at room temperature. 

3. While you are waiting, preheat the oven with the pizza stone inside to 425 degrees. After the dough has rested, unwrap and split into two even pieces. Dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough out until it is as thick as two stacked dimes. Top with whatever you like. (I used what I had on hand, but the original recipe looks amazing).  Dust the pizza stone with cornmeal and bake the flatbread directly ontop for 15-20 minutes. Repeat with the second piece of dough for a second pizza.

Enjoy! 

Posted on May 20, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

if i had a million dollars...

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...I would invest in some of the other entrepreneurs who presented along side us in the Slow Money showcase. (If you are interested you can watch our pitch here.)

Slow Money is all about investing money at home. And you don't just get a monetary return on your investment, you take part in creating the kind of place you want to live and play in. It's about thinking long term, and investing in businesses that don't just take, but give back. To the community and the soil.

Here's a few of my favorites. If anything, we need people doing similar projects right here in Arizona.  

1. Salume Beddu. The guy that started this company trained with Mario Batali. It was just one of the many presentations that made me drool. Who doesn't love artisan Salume? 

2. Fermented sauerkraut is completely different from the pickled stuff. And it's much better for you--all that good bacteria. There were two companies doing some great work in fermentation: Zuke in CO and Farmhouse Culture in CA.

3. Recipe food boxes from Out of the Box Collective  in L.A.. It's like a CSA meets menu planning.  I think this is perfect for a busy family who still wants to eat healthy home-cooked dinners.  And I love the holiday themed boxes. 

4. Sea to Table. I loved this one because it is so confusing buying fish at the grocery store. If you know just a little bit about over fishing, buying a fillet of salmon can cause some serious anxiety. This business proposes to get you the freshest and most sustainably caught fish. 

5. We presented right after Paul Schwennesen from Double Check Ranch. Another AZ business. And it was a hard act to follow. Paul's looking to converse land in the West by ranching on it. So more delicious grass fed beef and more open land. Good idea, right?

6. Kitchen Coop. Here's one that small food producers in AZ would love to see in their own backyard. A shared commercial kitchen space and packing facility. 

7. Revision International. This group is working to combat the food deserts in Denver. They are working with communities to grow their own food. Reminds me of the good work that IRC is doing in Phoenix. 

8. St Benoit Creamery in CA. This French style yogurt comes in the most beautiful ceramic cup which can be returned and re-used by the creamery. The passion and craft that goes into this product is inspiring. 

Luckily you don't need an extra million dollars to invest in these businesses. Of the $25 million invested in Slow Money businesses so far, most of them have been smaller investments from many indvidual investors. 

And for those that have been asking about the prize....

We were absolutely delighted to receive the People's Choice award. It was a generous donation from Slow Money conference attendees and matched by Jannie Hoffman of Mamma Chia.  So thank you to all those who voted for us on Facebook and at the conference. 

Posted on May 9, 2013 and filed under Blog.

anatomy of a seed

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Marco took these beautiful close-up shots of the White Sonora. And we noticed some things that we couldn't see with the naked eye.

For one, wheat is fuzzy.

Every grain is surrounded by silky strands, that form a little tuft of hair at one end.After some reading, I learned that this is called the  'brush end' the of the grain. And the little hairs act like straws and pull water around the growing grain.

There is one grain in each spiklet. And you can see from the 2nd and 4th pictures that those are fuzzy too. The 3rd picture is of the stalk. And you can see the individual veins that pull water from the ground to the wheat head- almost 1 meter up.

The grain is still green. Just coming out of its soft 'milk stage'. All it needs is a few more weeks in the field and it will be ready to harvest. 

Posted on May 8, 2013 and filed under Blog.

break bread together

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(Pictured: Marco Bianco's famous country loaf. We know someone who drives an hour, just to get a slice of his bread!)

Did you know that we started the mill because we were on a hunt for really good bread flour?  

As we've delved into the diversity of grains, the mill has grown beyond just bread flour. We've discovered colorful old-world corns, whole grains delicacies like farro, and my personal favorite-golden semolinas for pasta. 

But sometimes it's good to get back to our roots. Remember where we started and enjoy a good loaf of bread as it should be enjoyed; around the table with family and friends. 

Posted on April 24, 2013 and filed under Blog.

slow money

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***Update: The results are in! Hayden Flour Mills came home from the Slow Money gathering with the People's Choice award. We are thrilled that so many people were excited about our home-state grain movement. 

So here's the story. Our work has been nominated to receive national recognition! We are in the running to be named Entrepreneur of the Year at the upcoming Slow Money National Gathering. The winner will be chosen by a combination of jury selection, voting at the event and popular vote online. That's where you come in. You can help us win this award, which includes a cash prize of $50,000 to be invested in our sustainable business.

You all have helped us get this far. With more than 50 acres of heritage and ancient grains in productionn locally, we are already way beyond what we every dreamed of. It wasn't too long ago that we were milling whatever wheat we could find in our garage. 

But, now we have an opportunity to grow and establish a long-lasting local grain economy in our beautiful state. 

Slow Money is all about investing moeny in projects that are good for the community and the land. 

If you think Arizona is a better place with locally grown heritage grains give us your vote!

Click here to vote. It's easy. And you can vote every day. 

If you don't have Facebook, vote here.

Posted on April 13, 2013 and filed under Blog.

white sonora pepper crackers

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White Sonora Pepper Crackers

1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat White Sonora Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh cracked black pepper

1. Mix flour and salt together. Then add the olive oil and warm water. 

2. Knead the dough together with your hands for 5 minutes, or until the dough comes together in a ball. 

3. Lightly oil the ball of dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature. 

4. While you are resting your dough, pre-heat the oven to 450 F. 

5. After the dough has rested, unwrap and divide in to two pieces. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a thin sheet. Cut into whatever shape you like. Then place onto a cookie sheet lines with parchment paper. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Until they are a rich golden color. 

Posted on April 11, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

farro fricos

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These are the easiest fake-it-till-you-make-it appetizers. Best when served with a glass of wine on a Friday afternoon.

Farro Fricos

Makes 5 Fricos

  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated (use largest hole size of grater)
  • 1 tablespoon Farro flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 sliced green pimento stuffed olives

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Stir together, cheese, flour, pepper and olives. Place mounds of mix on Silpat liner. Flatten each mound. Bake in middle of over until golden brown--approximately 10 minutes. Cool for a few minutes. Use a spatula to transfer as Fricos are fragile.

Posted on March 15, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

markets

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It's Spring in Phoenix. That means it's perfect market weather. And there are so many good markets happening in the Valley. 

Besides getting up early and beating the afternoon heat, one of the reasons we love doing farmer's market is YOU. We love hearing how you used our flour (and we really love it when you let us sample your creations). We love learning what we can do better and what we should be milling more of. We love getting to tell you our story and hearing yours. 

Here's where you'll find us on Saturday mornings. 

1. Old Town Farmer's Market, Saturdays from 8am-1pm

2. Gilbert Farmer's Market, Saturdays 8am-12pm

3. Central Farmer's Market, Saturdays 9am-1pm

Let us know if you'd like us to be at your neighborhood market!

Posted on March 12, 2013 and filed under Blog.

toasted walnut and fig wheat berry salad

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Did you know that White Sonora was the first wheat to come to North America? It was brought over by Jesuit missionaries that were sent to the new world.  That's why it is sometimes called Father Kino's wheat.  So not only are these wheat berries nutty and chewy and versatile, they are part of our history. We like to call it edible history.

Here's an easy way to use White Sonora Berries into a cold salad. 

Toasted Walnut and Fig Wheat Berry Salad

Ingredients:

3 cups White Sonora Wheat Berries, Cooked
½ cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped
1 Sprig green onion, finely chopped
¼ Dried figs, finely chopped
¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup Goat cheese

Dressing:

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Olive oil
Squeeze of Half a lemon

1. Cooking the wheat berries: Soak the berries overnight. When you are ready to cook them, pour off the water. Place the berries in a pot and cover with water and simmer for 60-90 minutes. They will open up into fragrant pearls. When the berries are soft, but still chewy remove them from the heat, drain off any remaining water and set aside to cool. You can do this ahead of time and they will keep in the fridge for a week.

2. Add the chopped walnuts, green onion, cherries, and figs to the cooled berries. In a separate bowl mix the dressing ingredients together until the honey has dissolved. Next,  pour the dressing over salad and mix.

3. Crumble in the goat cheese just before serving. 

Voila!

Posted on February 8, 2013 and filed under Dinner, Recipe.

grain school #2

The best thing about being part of the Heritage Grain Coalition is Grain School at Native Seeds/SEARCH. People come from all over the country and state to learn how they can start grain movements in their communities. We heard from bakers, growers, anthropologists, and most importantly we feasted on local grains every day at lunch.

We did a milling demo and even pulled out the metates to try milling flour by hand. 

A glimpse of Grain School below:

grain school 2013
Posted on January 14, 2013 and filed under Blog.