It's all about the grain
Ben and I started Little Hat Creek Farm because we wanted to have a positive impact on our local food system. As a baker, my job is to connect you, a member of our community of eaters, with grain that we purchase from our regional millers and farmers.
Wonder what motivates me to do what I do? This is it.
Here is the breakdown of our flour and grain purchasing through June (Jan-June 2018).
We are pleased that right now about 35% of our flour was grown in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania.
When we are baking, we think about the person that is going to eat our bread. But we also think about the miller who milled the flour, and the grower who grew the grain. And if we don't know those people, we think about how to change that. You will notice the percentage of regional milled flour is higher than the percentage of regionally grown flour. This makes sense, because as bakers, we interface directly with the miller, who talks to the grower.
Our passion for regional grain motivated us to help found the Common Grain Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to revitalize a regional grain economy in Virginia and throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
We are now offering products that allow us to use even more regionally grown and milled grain, including crackers, granola, and cookies. Wheat can be grown sustainably only in combination with other crops like buckwheat, millet, and rye. Thus, our research and development stance is to focus on finding products that make good use of what is available, drawing heavily on old world bread styles as well as current innovations. We don’t mill in-house; instead, we use our purchasing power to support our regional millers. Like you, we buy local.