In the spring, when the fields were just greening, I took Erik and a friend on a field trip to the border to visit Kevin TeVelde, master tractor mechanic and farmer of all the rye and pastry wheat used at Raven Breads. We talked a little about grains and a lot about machines. Kevin loves tractors. A few months later Erik bought one of the old combines, an Allis Chalmers Gleaner F. This fall or next spring he’ll plant grain alongside his row crops and pastured livestock.
At the end of August we biked out to Lopez for a tiny, midweek vacation. The first day we slept and ate and slept again, a farmer and a baker stomped flat by summer work. The second day, refreshed, we walked down the road to Horse Drawn Farm where Nathan, the co-owner of Barn Owl Bakery, was tinkering with his combine at the edge of the rye field. Erik stepped up to talk mechanics while I stepped back and let the talk of belts and alignments roll over me, admiring the fields, the bright sky, the men talking over the machine.
On our way off island we rode by Barn Owl to pick up a bag of flour, a blend of Lopez grown Fortuna, Chiddam, and Selkirk wheats from the 2019 harvest. The air was clear, the sky was a dazzling blue. It’s hard now, on this dim, smoky morning to remember the world in such intense colors, just as it’s hard to remember the looming devastation of climate change on a perfect, blue summer day. In this warming world we need local food economies more than ever. We need their human scale and resilience. We need food that builds up, rather than exploits the land and the people who work it. The flour was a gift, and so the bread I baked with it for today’s market will also be a gift. All the proceeds from its sale will go to Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad, a worker-owned farm cooperative founded by leaders of the farmworker struggle at Sakuma Berry Farm.
Owner | Baker
FALL BREAD SUBSCRIPTION
Every Wednesday Sept 2 - Dec 16
14 weeks remaining
Pickups in Birchwood, Columbia, Lettered Streets, Happy Valley/Fairhaven
RED WHEAT Subscription - whole wheat table bread
MOUNTAIN RYE Subscription - seedy rye & wheat
TOAST Subscription - a new tinned loaf every week
9/16 - Polenta
9/23 - Buckwheat & Molasses
9/30 - Wild & Seedy
10/7 - Roasted Squash
10/14 - Rosemary Cornmeal
10/21 - Multicereal
10/28 - Baked Apple
Nov - Dec TBD
TODAY AT MARKET and NEXT WEEK FOR MARKET PREORDER
10am – 2pm, 1100 Railroad Ave
Red Wheat ($7.50 / 720g)
Elwha River Spelt ($8 / 750g)
Mountain Rye ($7.50 / 750g)
Vollkornbrot ($8 / 750g)
Seedy Buckwheat ($8 / 420g)
Lopez Island Wheat ($9 / 720g) - all proceeds to Cooperative Tierra y Libertad
Gingersnap Cookies ($5 / 2)
Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies ($5 / 2)
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies ($5 / 2)
Snack Cake: Apple Pear ($5)
Brown Butter Shortbread ($9 / half dz)
NEXT WEDNESDAY PREORDER & PICKUP
Self-serve pickups in Birchwood, Columbia, Lettered Streets, and Fairhaven.
Address and directions with your pickup reminder email Wednesday morning.
Order by Sunday night.
Sweets: BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE COOKIES & CHOCOLATE CHIP HAZELNUT COOKIES
On Wednesday night the middle school library filled up with adults. They were neighbors, school teachers and staff, grassroots organizers, college students from up the hill, city council members, civil servants, gardeners, and hunger relief workers. They lived in, worked in, organized in, grew food in, studied, or were curious about our neighborhood’s food desert.
For me, the neighborhood acts as a collection of homes. I haven’t claimed or been claimed by these streets and schools. I’m a renter in a communal house, and therefore, by experience if not definition, impermanent. My neighbors are neighbors by proximity rather than daily contact; ours is a block of back yards, not front porches. I can come and go as I please because I have a bike, because, to me, $2 round trip bus fare is pocket change, because I can walk or run across the city and sometimes do. I haven’t thought much about our neighborhood food desert.
When we circled the cafeteria tables to talk problems and solutions, I listened. I kept notes for the group. “Imagine money is no barrier,” the activity’s organizer told us. “What would you do?” And my table mates told me. They told me not only what they would do, but what they were doing. The most inspiring part wasn’t the ideas themselves, it was that, with or without funding, so many of them were already being implemented.
Near the end, our Council rep stood up. “We can do all this,” she said, “but who will be living here to use the services?” And I could see it almost like it had already happened, because in so many neighborhoods it already has: the community-owned grocery, the parking lot farmers market, the network off urban gardens and food-share boxes, the scratch-made school lunches and community dinners, the vegetable truck with it’s tinny jingle, all the dreams and organizing and hard work, past and present, realized, and the neighborhood gone, flattened by gentrification.
Owner | Baker
TODAY AT MARKET
Red & White
Oat & Honey
Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie
Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie
FALL BREAD SUBSCRIPTION
9 weeks remaining
Every Wednesday, OCT 2 - DEC 18
Pickup downtown, Birchwood, Fairhaven
This week: Mountain Rye, Red & White, RING RYE