Have you ever wondered where the ingredients for your bread come from...like really wondered? And why should you care? Today's guest is here to tell us all about how a local grain supply supports local economies, a more resilient supply chain, better quality staple foods for the consumer and better soil health for the region. Heather Coiner is a plant physiological ecologist and co-founder of the Common Grain Alliance, an organization striving for a more connected grain economy in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Common Grain Alliance envisions an integrated grain economy of local and regional businesses that produce nutritious, flavorful and consistent regional grain products for the communities they serve, and helps drive regional interest in— and demand for — regional grain through events, workshops and marketing.
Heather holds a PhD in plant physiological ecology from the University of Toronto and co-owns Little Hat Creek Farm, an ecological vegetable farm and wood fired bakery in central Virginia where she lives with her husband and two children.
- Heather's background as an academic and a bread baker
- How the Common Grain Alliance came to be
- Michael Grantz of Great Day Gardens
- How does the CGA operate as a membership organization?
- Carolina Ground (a similar grain operation out of Asheville)
- Jennifer Laps
- Why should we care about local grain?
- Local economies
- Soil improvement
- Challenges in creating a local grain economy
- Some solutions to the issue of accessibility
- sliding scale prices
- equipment pools for farmers
- businesses that provide traveling services for planting and processing
- Creating an awareness of the importance of local grains
- Little Hat Creek Farm
- The idea of horizontal vs vertical integration
- Significant accomplishments of CGA
- Foggy Mountain Pasta
- Next Step Produce
- Migrash Farms
- Purple Mountain
- Moutoux Orchards CSA
- The Grain Stand pilot program
- What are the alternatives if you can't access local grain?
- King Arthur Organic Flour is a good alternative to locally grown grain
- Restaurants in the Area that support the local grain economy
- Albemarle Baking Co
- Selou Bakery
- Slice Versa
- MarieBette Cafe and Bakery
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Original music by John Kingsley. Our technical partner for this series is CitizenRacecar, Post-Production by Alex Brouwer and José Miguel Baez, Coordinated by Gabriela Montequin and Mary Ball. The Good Dirt is a part of the Connectd Podcasts Network.
Statements in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not to be considered as medical or nutritional advice. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and should not be considered above the advice of your physician. Consult a medical professional when making dietary or lifestyle decisions that could affect your health and well-being.