Valley Bounty: Bread

Of all the many foods human beings have cooked and eaten in our relatively short time on the planet, few if any can equal bread’s central place to the story of humanity (I think the only real rivals would be rice and maize). The domestication of wheat in the Middle East 10,000 years ago was really the invention of agriculture and the primary event motivating the formation of the first towns and cities. If you’ll indulge a little historical materialism, one could make an interesting argument that much of human history, from antiquity through industrialization, is really the story of human beings trying out new ways of growing wheat and making bread. Bread is so central to many of our cultures and imaginations that even our language is brimming with bread metaphors (we talk about something being our “bread and butter”, living on “bread and water”, being unable to live “on bread alone”, etc.)

We’re fortunate to have several local farms growing and milling wheat right here in the Valley—Four Star Farms in Northfield, Upinngil Farm in Gill, and Sawyer Farm in Worthington are a couple examples. Try picking up a local flour (bonus points for one you haven’t tried before), find a bread recipe you’d like to try, and make your own little piece of human history—I hear it’s great with butter.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)