News Feed

Curated research on bakeries, food systems and grain chains.
Here we share the ongoing market research we are doing for our bakery as well as work being done regional grain economies (so we can source as much locally as possible). These mini-posts represent some of our homework and inspirations that help guide some of our business decisions. We aggregate news from dozens of sources on a weekly basis.

“It doesn't look like much…” - Jones Farms Organics

via Instagram
Posted November 13, 2022 9:56 pm by Paul Bonneville
The comment on the post means even more when you consider we are coming into the winter months :)
Locations
Hooper, CO,
United States
Farming

Meet the Midwestern Bakers and Farmers Working to Rebuild a Local Grainshed

via Modern Farmer
Posted October 30, 2022 2:58 pm by Paul Bonneville
The Artisan Grain Collaborative is another organization that has had a lot of success in their efforts to shore up the local grain economy out in the midwest. We love to see their continued to success.

Artisan Grain Collaborative, a network of farmers, millers, maltsters, brewers, bakers and distillers, is fostering a resilient and equitable regional breadbasket.

We've got our own evolving grain collaborative out here in Colorado in the form of the Colorado Grain Chain that we actively engage with in order to foster the growing of more local and regional grain to use in our products.
Business networking
Marketing & Promotion
Advocacy & Education

Ardent Mills survey finds major consumer interest in ancient grains

via bake magazine
Posted October 9, 2022 2:18 pm by Paul Bonneville
Interesting survey that is showing a large agricultural player intersecting with local-based efforts to revive regional grain chains. I am more than happy to see a larger player move away from a focus on the usual commodity grains, but Ardent Mills' interest and involvement will hopefully not dissuade smaller scale efforts to build up local community oriented supplies of ancient, heirloom, heritage and landrace grains.

Most consumers in an Ardent Mills’ survey expressed interest in buying an item containing ancient grains, and nearly 90% said they wanted to know more about ancient grains. Denver-based Ardent Mills contacted 1,001 US consumers of the ages 18 or older online Aug. 19-23.
Locations
Denver, CO,
United States
Organizations
Milling & Malting
Processing, Logistics & Distribution
Farming
Sales

PBS12 Presents: Farm to Faucet

via PBS
Posted September 25, 2022 10:27 pm by Paul Bonneville
Doing some more homework on Colorado's San Luis Valley water issues and came across this informative video on some of the history and issues with our water out here.

The value of water holds many definitions throughout Colorado’s urban and rural communities. As the supply and demand gap continues to widen, cities look to farms and ranches for its water, how do you determine factors of fairness, equity and wealth in a way that is acceptable to all? FARM TO FAUCET is an honest look at our society’s willingness to adapt in this ever-changing climate space.
Policy & Legal
Farming
Advocacy & Education

Cultivation Station podcast: Colorado Grain Chain

via Colorado Department of Agriculture
Posted September 24, 2022 12:04 pm by Paul Bonneville
Great podcast the covers a lot of what the Colorado Grain chain is doing and how it got started.

We chat with the Colorado Grain Chain. There are many ways to work with them and grow your small business by using local grains.
Farming
Seeds
Business networking
Advocacy & Education

Douglas County commissioners meet again about controversial San Luis Valley water project

via The Colorado Sun
Posted September 22, 2022 8:46 pm by Paul Bonneville
I'll admit I don't have all the facts, but on its face, this water project seems out of sync with the reality of the water situation in the San Luis Valley.

...The project from Renewable Water Resources, or RWR, proposes pulling 22,000 acre-feet of water per year from the San Luis Valley, permanently drying up wells in the area, and transporting the water to Douglas County...

...Residents and water districts from the valley, along with politicians and leaders throughout the state, have been strongly against the project, saying there is no extra water to remove from the valley and that the project would irreparably damage the region’s agricultural community. 

I'm interested in this specifically due to the fact that there are some small grain growers down in the valley that are contributing to the revival of our regional grain chain.

That, and another article I posted a while back that shares the other side of the story: A 150-year-old San Luis Valley farm stops growing food to save a shrinking water supply. It might be the first deal of its kind in the country

Doesn't quite seem to add up.
Policy & Legal
Farming

USDA Wants Farmers to Increase Double-Cropping

via The Food Institute
Posted September 21, 2022 7:58 pm by Paul Bonneville
The fact that the USDA is encouraging this practice can be taken as a good thing beyond just food security, commodity markets and profit for the farmers. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to grow two crops on one piece of land, a practice known as double-cropping, to bolster global food supplies, which are threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The practice isn’t new. In parts of the South and southern Midwest, farmers have been planting winter wheat in the fall, following harvest of their summer crop, usually soybeans. The wheat is then harvested in late spring, in time for spring planting.

This article is interesting in that many of the farmers we follow that are small grain growers are already double-cropping. Wheat, barley, oats, and rye are all considered small grains, among others, and it is the classification that the various ancient, heritage, heirloom and landrace grains we use fall into.

To take it one step further, double-cropping is a step in the direction of regenerative farming practices that alternates crops on a farmer's land into order to regenerate nutrients in the soil. One crop may use up certain nutrients during one season, another crop in the same location can put it back. An oversimplification to be sure, but you get the idea.
Advocacy & Education
Policy & Legal
Farming

Organic farming finds its niche: Boulder County remains proving ground for healthy, pesticide-free production

via Daily Camera
Posted September 18, 2022 9:38 pm by Paul Bonneville
Boulder County definitely has a strong local food system, and I don't think it is a stretch to say that county-based agricultural efforts have definitely helped things out. I have not seen the acreage numbers for farmland in the county, so this is one of the things that caught my eye. Some of our local farms are evening growing heritage grains as part of their crop rotations, like Aspen Moon Farm who is also mentioned in the article.

Alexander said the county leases 16,000 acres of irrigated farmland. The majority of that goes to conventional farmland and one large-scale operator, Dave Asbury of Asbury Farms, who ships much of his produce to Whole Foods stores. But a decent chunk of that irrigated farmland does go to the small-market organic farms now scattered across the county. The county’s goal is to lease 20% of its farmland to organic producers: Meeting that goal would mean leasing 3,200 organic acres. The county remains 1,260 acres short, according to information dated 2014 on its website.

Some of our local farms are evening growing heritage grains as part of their crop rotations, like Aspen Moon Farm who is also mentioned in the article. They've grown durum for Pastificio for at least a couple of seasons if I'm not mistaken.
Organizations
Farming
Sales
Advocacy & Education
Policy & Legal

Filling gaps in our food system

via Boulder Weekly
Posted September 15, 2022 11:42 pm by Paul Bonneville
Great piece that talks about the grain chain, part of our local and regional food systems, out here in Colorado:

To bring that into balance, echoing Paugh, Clark wants to bring more education and awareness to locally grown goods. Residents can find a strong local food system in Boulder County, from stalwarts like Black Cat Farms to small farm stands scattered throughout the county selling eggs, grains and produce. One doesn’t need to drive to the San Luis Valley to see each link of CGC in action, when so much is active on the Front Range. The organization is still in its infancy, but Paugh is hopeful about the future.
Milling & Malting
Advocacy & Education
Farming

No-Till Practices Can Help Boost Farmland Value

via Modern Farmer
Posted September 11, 2022 10:03 pm by Paul Bonneville
Good timing on this brief piece from Modern Farmer. I'm reading (ok, listening to) What Your Food Ate by David Montgomery which goes really deep into the soil, and its ecosystem, that our food grows in. No-till farming is a core piece of regenerative farming, which is the practice of farming focused on rebuilding soil health and fertility. Fascinating stuff.

Conventional tilling practices involve farmers making multiple passes over a field, first to till the soil and then to plant seeds. By contrast, no-till practices eliminate the first step, and farmers plant seeds in fields without tilling. As a result, the land is left with crop residue after harvest. No-till farming is considered the more environmentally friendly option, as it requires less fuel and soil disturbance. The research showed that untilled land has lower rates of soil erosion and less nutrient runoff when compared to conventionally tilled land.

Why would a bakery be so focused on farming and farming practices? We mill our own flour and are buying grains from farms as local as possible to help support and grow sustainable food systems in our region.
Science & Research
Advocacy & Education
Farming