The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

California organic whole grain grower miller

dcoke's picture
dcoke

California organic whole grain grower miller

  I've been growing organic grain and milling it for a few years. When I started, my primary motivation was to see if I could find, grow and harvest grains that I could use to bake good 100% whole grain bread.  

 I searched for and trialed different varieties, looking for grain with the protein and gluten qualities to make a good loaf of bread, and that would yield enough to be able to be sold at a reasonable price. I've had some successes and some failures with varieties I've trialed. 

 Growing organic grain here in the central coastal region of California has been interesting and it seems to be possible, at least in my case, as a sideline to our organic vegetable farming operation. We store the harvested cleaned grain in our cold storage and mill it on a weekly basis. We sell small quantities (2 lb. pack) at the 2 farmers markets (Palo Alto,Menlo Park) we go to and sell some in 25 lbs bags to local bakers.

 The most challenging aspect of the enterprise is managing the milling and selling enough at each sale to make it worthwhile. 

I'm looking for ideas or maybe to connect with someone interested and experienced in milling/baking?/selling local organic grain/flour 

d

 

  

 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Check out Keith Giusto Baking Supply and Central Milling Company. It will be of interest.

Wild-Yeast

charbono's picture
charbono

Consider selling whole kernels via internet.

lepainSamidien's picture
lepainSamidien

Go into association with a motivated baker and handle the grain to bread chain from beginning to end. In France there are people who are "paysan-boulangers," farmers who cultivate their grains, mill them into flour, and then bake them into bread. It can be a lot of work but it's pretty cool. If you want to find a way to add value to your grains, making bread is about the best thing you can do.

Otherwise, invest in some equipment to sprout and dry your grains and mill them into flour. Seems like the market you are in would be happy to absorb some sprouted grain flour.

Kay Erland's picture
Kay Erland

Nan Kohler supports California wheat growers - wonderful mill called Grist and Toll - www.gristandtoll.com (626-441-7400). Nan is a wonderful resource for all things grain.

Also Seed Bakery, 942 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104 (626.486.2115) http://www.seedbakerypasadena.com/ - artisan bakery, breakfast/lunch cafe. I believe they also do some milling. All sourdough breads.)

And LABB - Los Angeles Bread Bakers - a very large Meet-Up group organized by Erik Knudsen and Mark Stambler and some 16 others - http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Bread-Bakers/members/?op=leaders - incredible resource for all things bread. 

I'm mostly a one-loaf-a-week home baker, but the folks above, along with many others, know about all there is to know about bread resources in Southern California.

I'm not quite sure what level of involvement you're seeking, but there's a huge bread scene in L.A. as a whole, and the links above should lead you into it.

Happy milling, baking, and eating!

Kay

 

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

I'm new to this site and I haven't figured out how to send a private message.   I live near Oakland, CA and I've been frustrated that I can't find 50lb bags of wheat berries here (I have to special order thru Whole Foods).  I'd be interested in buying quantities.