20 July, 2016 Newsletter

20 July 2016

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Henry David Thoreau

Our emails, once a week, will keep New Orleanians informed about the State of Grain in our city and our region. Bellegarde is the only bakery in between Asheville and Arizona that stone-mills its own flour. We strive to source organic grains that we mill fresh and bake into healthy and delicious whole grain breads. We are convinced that the health issues which plague our city—obesity, violence, mis-education, ecological and cultural erosion—are bound to the lack of fresh food. Food access is a systemic Policy issue: everyday that we bake whole grain bread with freshly milled flour, we tweak one more nerve in the System. And each nerve pinched is our desire to re-establish our region as a self-efficient food economy and re-create the cuisine of New Orleans with fresh ingredients…a revolutionary Gordian knot.

We all speak the language of food and we all seek the pleasure of flavor. What more perfect medium to communicate change than with bread? Pandering to demand in a regional food system is not as important as nurturing supply: quality will dictate quantity. Help us democratize that staff of life. Splinter by splinter by splinter. Time will always teach that the easy way becomes the hard way.

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New Blog: “A mentor’s role is to disrupt fear, never to displace it. Without that blood of doubt, wed lack the oxygen of substance.” A new blog is up, about my friend and mentor Sebastien Boudet. Please click this link to read more: Blog

Southern Foodways Alliance: Unique article about food and commerce and slavery: King Corn. We don’t realize the incredible depth and richness of foods which are native to America and how they have globalized world cuisine. And not just recently.

Louisiana Wheat: We are excited to announce that there was, first ever to my knowledge, an organic crop of wheat harvested in Louisiana last month. Bellegarde is working closely with the farmer to continue this important conversation and explore it for the future. It is a very gentle, supple, and silky wheat—mildly sweet and creamy—that does not produce wonderful bread on its own, but is wonderful in a blend with stronger flours. Regardless, we are thrilled to finally have found a farmer willing to learn and to listen, and to do something different. That’s all it takes…the desire to listen more than we talk.

Emily, a Tulane Public Health student and Bellegarde Summer intern, along with baker Sean, and I traveled to the farm last week. We had a good afternoon and an incredible visit with the farm manager and their lead farmer. It is an ongoing conversation, this classroom called life; so too is grain. This gist of the grist is that the local infrastructure is absent when it comes to the, well, local grain economy. So, reason and pragmatism bivouacked as we attempted to handle some of these matters. If lucky, we will be able to have a few thousand pounds of this wheat by the end of Summer. Otherwise, we will certainly have something next year. Regardless, I love to sit at the edge of the pools of time and think incessantly about how difficult it is to make something so simple and so beautiful as a loaf of bread. It turns out, truly, that it’s damn near impossible. And this all was placed under the hot sun of the magnifying glass when I realized it’d be damn hard to get a hold on wheat grown 189 miles away from my bakery.

Buy Directly From The Bakery: Send me an email at bellegardebakery@gmail.com if to buy bread directly from the bakery.

We are selling our COUNTRY BREAD onTuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
We are selling our COUNTRY RYE on Wednesdays.
We are selling our whole grain, organic polenta, corn grits, and wheat flours—stone milled fresh, in 2lbs or 20lbs bags.

Pickup directly from the bakery a 7am until 1pm.

Workshops: Bellegarde has one more class date set for the year. Please visit our website Workshops for the coming schedule and email me to reserve your spot.

Soul Food

Respect for the steeple
Power to the people.

Curtis Mayfield