27 July, 2016 Newsletter

27 July 2016

“To live truly and effectively the idea of achievement must be given up.”

Agnes Martin. Artist

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

Nature: Emerson reminds that, “Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.” What an incredible, incredible, incredibly beautiful conviction. Such strong and compulsive words. I can’t believe it…

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 on Tuesdays, 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.

Grain Gathering: Baker Steve and I, along with chef Alon Shaya, are traveling this week to the Grain Gathering in Washington. It’ll be my second attendance and I truly look forward to seeing the family. “The annual conference brings together professional and home bakers, maltsters, brewers, distillers, millers, farmers, wheat breeders, chefs, food writers, wood-oven builders, and people who come to enjoy “summer camp for bread lovers.  Over 40 workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations explore a range of topics which may include the best of whole grain baking, milling techniques, brewing beer, baking in a wood fired oven, starting a whole grain bakery, growing a regional grain network, the science of bread, or comparing flavors and functionalities in a variety of wheats and other grains.” Check it out here: GG

Soul Food

When a beautiful rose dies beauty does not die because it is not really in the rose. Beauty is an awareness in the mind. It is a mental and emotional response that we make. We respond to life as though it were perfect. When we go into a forest we do not see the fallen rotting trees. We are inspired by a multitude of uprising trees…The goal of life is happiness and to respond to life as though it were perfect is the way to happiness. It is also the way to positive art work.

Agnes Martin. Again

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