Thursday, September 23, 2010

Buying Bread - Keeping Money in Our Local Economy

Four loaves of fresh baked bread.  One is cut and eaten immediately,
the other three go into the freezer for later use.

My most recent post included the shocking amount of money a Kansas wheat farmer gets for the wheat in a loaf of bread.  After my last posting, I realized many people may not know how/where to purchase local bread products (where the wheat is grown ~70 miles from Wichita, and the bread is baked here too.)  The way I see it, you have two options...and here they are:

1.  Mill and bake your bread:  Buy wheat berries from a local farmer.  A locally owned farm, Janzen Family Farms, grows certified organic wheat berries (find their info/website on the local producers list).  Norm Oeding is the farm manager, and formerly marketed his products under the Spring Creek Ranch label.  The wheat berries (both hard red winter and hard white winter) are sold in the bulk bins at local stores.  After purchasing, mill the wheat and bake the bread yourself.  This is the option Chris and I choose.  We also make homemade noodles, pancakes, tortillas, crackers and other bread products from fresh milled flour.  I organized my life in order to have time to do things like this, but not everyone has the time, so the second option is...

2.  Buy locally sourced bread products:  Janzen Family Farms also has a company called the Little Red Hen Bakery.  At the bakery, their locally grown organic wheat is made into bread products.  Baking happens on Wednesday, and products are delivered to stores that afternoon.  They have a good variety:  Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Old Fashioned Cracked Wheat Bread, Whole Wheat Raisin Bread, Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls, Whole Wheat Buns, and Whole Wheat Raisin Rolls.  Plus, a couple of multi-grain artisan breads:  Honey Five Grain Bread and Whole Wheat Seven Grain Bread.  So, want fresh, locally grown and baked bread - shop late Wednesday afternoon! 

Where can you find Janzen Family Farms bread products?  All three Whole Foods stores and Food for Thought (see the Local Producers List for locations.)

Chris and I love our homemade bread, and no, I don't sell it.  But, I do barter with it - I've been trading loaves of bread for some great organic products from a local farm.  This is one of the many ways using local products builds community, and I'm all for that!  (If you're interested in bartering, send me an email.)   :)

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