I was talking to Rick Hood this week at the market, and asked how his wheat threshing went. He took me to the back of his truck and showed me the contents of a 50-pound bag. It was gorgeous, golden, and flecked with stray vetch and rye grains. He told me his equipment can't separate out the vetch, but it's tasteless. The equipment does clean the grain. Just then, Yeon came over and saw the grain, and was very excited. She made her husband come over too, with his camera, and take pictures. We talked some more to Rick.
Rick has his own combine, which is good for him because combines have to be cleaned before they can be used on organic food after being used on conventionally grown food, and cleaning a combine is a pain. Rick said just as they started harvesting, one of the combine tires blew and it cost him $1000 to get another one that had to be lifted on by crane.
Rick has one customer who bought 200 pounds of grain (at $1 per pound) and mills his own flour as he needs it, for optimum freshness. It's a soft wheat flour, which means that it does not have the ability to make bread without the addition of hard wheat or gluten; rather, it makes good pastry flour. I decided that my friends and I should get a grain mill for our Kitchenaid mixers and buy that grain. I went back to the Cakes for Cause booth and talked to Elin the baker about getting one. She called her people at Sur La Table and ordered it. Then she bought Rick's 50 pound bag of grain. All we have to do now is wait 5-7 days for the mill to arrive so we will be able to make fresh.local.organic.flour. Elin will bring the pastries to market not this week but next. HOW EXCITING IS THAT?
And that, my friends, is a local economy.