Until December 23, 2010, I was a city girl. I had daily lattes, shopped a little too often, relied on public transportation, and rejected the thought of ever living in the country. When my husband and I decided to leave it all for West Texas to farm, life changed completely. Read my “Farmwife Confessions” to learn about the transition.
In my last Farmwife Confession, I talked a little about “corporate” farming and some of the incorrect perceptions consumers sometimes have about farming. Another one I hear and read often is that us “corporate” farmers don’t consume food we grow and have separate organic gardens for our families. Which is absurd.
I hear this line most often in regards to potato farmers. Always followed up by a statement that non-organic potatoes don’t sprout because they have so many pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. I know that this is anecdotal evidence, but there’s the glaring fact that every single potato that I’ve ever bought and not eaten right away has sprouted. Details.
Opponents of modern food production methods so often paint farmers as pawns in a food war, unable to make genuine decisions about what and how we grow. They make statements like: Monsanto forces farmers to buy their products; farmers are just tied to the welfare of farm subsidies; and farmers don’t really care about their land or product – only money. And, hey, there could be some farmers out there about whom these descriptions ring true – every industry has a few bad seeds! (Pun intended.)
But, from the farmers I’ve met, they believe in their crops and in their land. They work endless hours to grow a healthy, life-sustaining product for all of us to enjoy with our families. What’s that saying… don’t badmouth a farmer while your mouth is full. Yeah. That.
For my birthday this year,
I bought myself Russell so thoughtfully gave me a bread machine. It was wheat harvest on the farm then, so he brought me home a small bag of grains that I could use to make whole wheat bread. And, it was not secret organic wheat that we keep for ourselves.
(Another thing I read a lot – that there is SO much GMO wheat in our food. Not true. There is no GMO wheat in legal commercial production in the US. Again, details.)
I don’t have a home grain mill (yet), so I decided to grind the wheat with a food processor and then a mortar and pestle. It ended up looking a bit like steel cut oats. Since I couldn’t make a fine flour, I added our wheat to other whole wheat flour to give the bread texture. And what a fresh, hearty, earthy bread it turned out to be – so much better tasting than store-bought bread.
I used the Honey Whole Wheat recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. Here’s the recipe as I made it:
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup of our ground wheat, plus some for the top of the loaf
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
I made the dough in my bread machine, following its directions for the order to add the ingredients. Once the dough was mixed and had gone through the rise cycle, I took it out and cooked it in a loaf pan, 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
As Russell said when he took the first bite – this recipe is a keeper.