By Kristie Snyder,
Eating locally is a noble goal, but any Ithacans baking bread with Farmer Ground Flour, grown and milled locally, may not realize how good they have it. Finding local flour is all but impossible in most of this country, and Canada, too. When a Vancouver couple decided to spend a year eating only food grown within 100 miles of their home, flour became their holy grail. Authors of the 2007 book, Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon spent eight months deprived of pasta, bread, crackers, pizza and all the other delights that ground wheat can provide. While a previous search yielded nothing but a tubful of weevil-infested wheat berries liberally sprinkled with mouse droppings (which was, reluctantly, discarded), they did finally locate a supply of wheat flour grown within 100 miles of Vancouver. A baking frenzy ensued.
“We were back in the familiar world of carbohydrate loading, and yet it was not the same. I had never imagined the difference fresh flour would make,” wrote MacKinnon. “Everything we made we ate simply, letting the flavor of the wheat stand alone. It tasted -— ancient. We would sit together to break the bread. A sacred act.”
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New in Bulk
|From Biosphere Nucleus to Your Cup: Bird of Paradise Fair Trade Coffee|
A hot cup of organic Fair Trade coffee is just the thing for these nippy autumn mornings. We're bringing back some favorites.
We have a couple of great organic, Fair Trade coffees returning to Bulk in October. One is a very flavorful, low-acidity Sumatran from Tierra Farm. The other, Bird of Paradise — a great-tasting Co-op favorite last year — comes to us from Equal Exchange. Since its availability is limited, we're running a sale on it at $9.99/lb. for its first month back! Bird of Paradise coffee is grown in Mexico's El Triunfo Biosphere Preserve, a lush, dynamic park that contains many micro-ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to high, misty cloud forests to low wetlands. The core of the reserve, or nucleus, is restricted to conservation and scientific activity. The buffer zone surrounding the nucleus is a working landscape where sustainable development is allowed. There, a cooperative of farmers grows coffee using natural techniques that invest in the biosphere reserve, in the health of the soil and of the coffee trees, and therefore in the quality of the coffee beans.