Our pilot group of bakeries in Western NC gathered this week to sample bread made from this year’s NC wheat harvest. Both modern and heritage wheat was baked into hearth loaves, pan loaves, focaccia, and pita. NuEast and Appalachian White grown at Looking Back Farms, Inc. in Tyner, NC, as well as Appalachian White grown at the Hofner’s farm in Salisbury were the modern varieties on display. Heritage varieties sampled were Red May-- a soft wheat traditionally grown in the Carolinas, and Sonora; both were grown at Looking Back Farms, Inc.
We are weeks away from turning on the mill. A window is being installed today to provide visitors with a view of this exquisite Austrian-built mill. Walls have been primed; fresh paint is soon to follow. And harvest is being assessed: how much of what varieties are available? How much seed needs to be held back. How many varieties should be planted? Plans for right now (August), this fall (planting starts in late Sept), next June, and the following fall are being assessed, all at once. We’re this deep in, and the simple loaf of bread—the concept of a local loaf-- is all the more humbling.