An Open Letter to Jennifer at Carolina Ground

I want tot thank you for all you have done to make great flour from Southern farms available to bakers like me. Since opening my bread bakery early last year I have become aware of just what an enormous undertaking this is. Here I am in a state dominated by agriculture where one would expect to find a wealth of local grains perfect for the artisan baker. Instead, I discovered a vast gulf between what is produced for industry and what is available to the small business or individual. Sure we have some amazing produce available at our Community Market, but a small to medium-sized bakery falls into a middle zone. The volume of wheat required is much greater than what could be planted in a backyard garden, but not quite enough to be economically feasible for the farmer. To make this work there must be a network of many farmers and bakers, like there used to be when all milling was local and there was a bakery in every town. How on earth can we recreate that? This is where Carolina Ground comes in, creating a link with “farmer, miller, and baker” and slowly putting this network back together. I am very excited and proud to be your first Mississippi bakery and to be part of this revolution!

My customers have already had a taste of your flours in my breads and pastries, and they seem to really enjoy the products, but why does all of this matter to them? First of all, we are mainly a sourdough bakery using natural wild yeast to leaven our breads. Since local yeast and local grains have evolved together it stands to reason that they will work well together and produce uniquely local results.

Secondly, all of the flour from Carolina Ground is cold stone milled. This is important because unlike industrial mills with steel rollers, the entire wheat berry is ground up, including the bran and wheat germ, at a low temperature, ensuring that even the finest flour retains the nutrients and flavor of the whole grain.

We are looking forward to the upcoming year as we experiment with new breads and pastries and educate our customers about the many benefits of the flours we use. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be a part of what you are doing!

Sincerely,

Troy DeRego