Friday, April 13, 2012

We're Milling!

bread from Annies Bakery made with our whole wheat Turkey wheat
the mill in action
samples headed for area restaurants
aren't they cute! baby mills!!Billy Carter farm in Eagle Springs, NC. Our rye (Wrens Abruzzi) in the foreground and TAM 303 wheat in the background.

Things take place instantaneously, but there's a long process to be gone through first.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

We are actually making flour. Yes, we are milling! Flat Rock Village Bakery, West End Bakery, and Annies Bakery are our first bakery customers, and Over Easy Cafe is our first restaurant. In fact, Over Easy is featuring a pancake this month using our flour (and I hear they're selling like hot cakes!)
It's amazing how simple it is to take grain and mill it into flour. When we conceived of this idea-- a mill that could connect bakers with farmers in the Carolinas-- it seemed like such an obvious thing to do. Why was no one else already doing this? But of course pretty quickly I discover all of the obvious reasons why. It's not nearly as simple as apples to apple sauce, and yet once we got there-- clean grain that meets the parameters of a baker-- grain to flour is so simple.
I think it worth mentioning-- since it took us from mid-February to mid-March to simply get the mill mechanics operative-- that some of the challenges we were presented with in launching this mill had to do with the lack of manufacturing in this country and the deficiency that this has caused in terms of skill level in our population. It was really difficult for us to find someone who could help us with our motor-- someone who understood the mechanics of a large (15 hp) motor and the frequency and the Rpms and how all of this interacts and relates to the speed of the grind (because the mill originally had a European motor on it). So now, we not only have the mill running-- which means we are rebuilding local manufacturing-- but we have also honed the skills of those around us, and (I think/hope) engaged their interest.
Anyways, I am going to attempt to post more-- to let you all know how this unfolds. Not just grain to flour, but flour to bread and pancakes and however else our amazing bakers and restauranteurs use our flour.
from the ground up,