Monday, August 31, 2009
Baking for barter dollars!
I've been slowly reviving my old baking business "Wildflour Bakery", and am now offering monthly selections of breads, cookies and squares to barter members. I email a list of baked items to the member list, and deliver the pre-ordered goods to the barter fair on the last Saturday of the month. The beauty of the barter system is that one can offer things that are hobbies, and develop new skills or fulfill creative outlets through this manner. Doing this baking satisfies by desire to run a bakery, which is not feasible in a larger way right now. We'd love to have a neighbourhood cafe or bakery from our location, but would need to do some reorganizing and rezoning of our property. Maybe possible in future? Certainly this is a walking/cycling neigbhourhood, where there would be a decent amount of pedestrian traffic, and it's a neighbourhood that would benefit from a cafe in it's midst. We've seen lovely examples in cities like Winnipeg (Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company, which is a thriving bakery out of a tiny one room space, and we always make a stop there for their famous cinnamon buns. This bakery started by families using a church kitchen in the neighbourhood to bake breads, and delivered them by little red wagon to households that had pre-ordered. Demand grew, support grew, and they eventually set up a bakery shop...).
Anyway, for now, I can prepare baked goods and trade them through the barter system (BarterWorks), test out my recipes and provide wholesome, mindfully prepared baking using organic local ingredients to members. I offer vegan and wheat-free options as well. This month the breads included: 4-Grain Sunflower & Flax; Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Millet; Local Oats & Honey. I've been reading Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions, as well as thinking about sprouting for winter, and realize that I really need to invest in a solid heavy-duty grain mill. She write that most grains, nuts and seeds, and beans need to be soaked, sprouted and/or fermented, before eating. This helps to digest them, but also enhances their nutritional value. Foods that are processed quickly lose nutrition, nuts, seeds and grains go rancid. A grain mill allows us to grind jsut what we need, to sprout the grain before hand (or at least soak it overnight), and gain optimum nutrition in our baking. I suppose baking itself should be minimized, and this school of thought would promote sprouted breads or dehydrated foods that are only minimally heated (baking or heating also kills helpful enzymes needed for digestion)....more on Sally Fallon's book as I read on. We'll be offering a sprouting/living foods workshop here at Little City Farm in November, just in time for everyone to get started on their own indoor living food "gardens" for winter.