28 June, 2016 Newsletter

28  June, 2016

“We could go from trying to own the world to trying to feel at home in it.”

Katrine Marcal

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: “According to the USDA, the top four of five crops grown in Louisiana are non-edible: feed wheat, soybeans, cotton, and feed corn. None of those should be grown in a state where one in four children are hungry.” A new blog is up; please click this link to read more: new blog.

SFA: Bellegarde got a wonderful write up fro Troy Coll of the Southern Foodways Alliance. A very concise and accurate portrait of what we are doing. SFA and Bellegarde.

Sea Island Rye: A friend and supplier, Greg Johnsman of Edisto Island, SC recently had his heirloom rye written up for Slow Food USA by renowned Professor David Shields. We are one of the very, very few commercial bakeries to use this incredibly unique heirloom rye in our breads, which we mill ourselves. Click here to read more.

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 and I, a public health student at Tulane, will be visiting the farm in July to discuss the possibilities further.

Workshops: BELLEGARDE has two more class dates set for the year. Please visit our website Workshops for the coming schedule and email me to reserve your spot. Classes fill up quickly. The dates are Sunday September 4th from noon to 6pm and November 6th at the same time.

Soul Food

Dr. King would often say that we’ve got to love people no matter what. Most of all, he would say, we must love the unlovable. Love the hell out of them, he would say. And he meant that literally. If there is hell in someone, if there is meanness and anger and hatred in him, we’ve got to love it out. I had no doubt this could be done.

Congressman John Lewis