We’ve been wandering…

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May 25th, 2009 by Admin

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…far away on the other side of the continent. Martin and I were visiting Nova Scotia last week, and have just returned. Thanks for your patience as we catch up with emails, cheques in the mail, and messages on our answering machine.

We did manage to check out some pretty cool spots while we were there, despite being pretty wet for half of the week. Most notable in terms of grain relevance was the LaHave Bakery, in – where else – LaHave, Nova Scotia. Apparently this place is an institution, and it’s easy to tell why. We had a fantastic lunch there (I had a veggie pizza on doughy goodness; Martin, a veggie sandwich on slices of fresh-baked cracked wheat) and grabbed some photos to share. The “local flours” they mention on the sign are from Speerville Mills, a Maritime company that’s doing great things with local grains, and has a mission that fits so well with the Urban Grains philosophy:

Why? Because less than 1% of this area’s available cereals and flour products are actually grown and processed in this region. It is critical to promote a regional food system, while encouraging organic farming, and a nutritious food supply. Speerville Flour Mill has always been a strong supporter of organic agriculture. From working with farmers with production issues, to marketing the results of their efforts, Speerville Flour Mill strives to produce top quality products, as well as, supporting the local economy by helping build strong rural communities.”

We encountered Speerville products a number of times during the trip, and were very excited to discover that local flour was being used all over the Maritimes. We even managed to steal a few bags from our friend Shelby, who graciously hosted us at her home, which I will whip up into loaves sometime soon.

The photos below are all from LaHave Bakery, where we hope to end up again someday.

case-signThe dessert case. Yum.

weavingTapestry above the stairs.

flour-bagsThe raw ingredients.

bakery-signGood motto.

blowfishEven better mascot.

Saturday bread making

May 3rd, 2009 by Admin

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Gave it a go again yesterday with Chris’s whole-grain flour – this time mixed with some organic, all purpose white – and turned out the first loaf that I am actually proud of.  I used the most basic overnight recipe from Bread Matters, which I have mentioned before, and was very pleased with the result. See those air pockets? I’ve never gotten real air pockets before! It was exciting, to say the least. I didn’t manage to get a good, hard crust, but it’s a big improvement.

Thanks to those of you who have sent along recipes – I’ll be trying more out as the summer goes on and sharing some here, as well.

Progress update from Cedar Isle

May 1st, 2009 by Martin

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I was delighted to discover some photos from Jim in my inbox this morning. They were all taken yesterday, the same day that Jim finished sowing the last of the hard red spring wheat (CDC Go variety) picture above. I believe that’s Mt. Cheam in the background.

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This is 2 acres of winter wheat (Buteo variety), which was sown on September 22, 08.

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Here’s the other half of the winter wheat (Falcon variety), which was sown September 27, 08.

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This is 1 acre of Triticate (Pika variety), which was sown on September 27, 08.

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Last but not least, this is the first sowing of the hard red spring wheat (CDC Go variety), which was sown on April 22, 09. As you can see in the second picture, it has hardly been a week and the grain is already starting to emerge.