A major missing piece of Asheville’s local food network is now in place – a mill is grinding locally grown wheat into flour.
Carolina Ground is the name of the project, which is located in the former Square D plant up on Bingham Road, north of downtown Asheville. The actually production of flour is the result of more than three years of work by a group of people, but namely Jennifer Lapidus.
Much more to come, but if you want to learn more about the project, attend the Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers Festival on Saturday. The festival, in its eighth year, used to be held at Greenlife Grocery but outgrew that space and is now being held at the A-B Tech campus. Check out the website for details.
Here’s more about this project from the N.C. Organic Bread Flour Project blog:
This project aims to link the farmer, the baker, and the miller in North Carolina with the goal of providing a viable market for organic hard and soft wheat and other small grains. Closing the distance between the farmer and baker is key. This need was made evident with the 2008 (perceived) wheat deficit that caused the price of wheat to soar. Consumers and bakers alike felt the pinch. Additionally, in NC where the vast majority of bread wheat is trucked in from other parts of the US, the price of wheat is compounded with the ever-increasing cost of fuel. Fostering the relationship between the grower, miller, and baker provides a tangible level of security and sustainability for all three. Under the auspices of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, this initiative has been supported with funding through the NC Tobacco Trust and Sante Fe Tobacco. Partnering in this project is North Carolina State University’s North Carolina Organic Grain Project, the USDA- Agricultural Research Service, and NCDA with funding from the Golden Leaf Foundation. Project Coordinator of NCOBFP and author of this blog, is Jennifer Lapidus, retired baker of a wood-fired brick oven desem bakery.
More from Lapidus via the Mountain Xpress here.