A couple years ago wintertime: We were understaffed and I was overworked. I was, for the moment, sole miller while at the same time, taking a business accelerator class which meant staying up late at night in front of a computer drawing spreadsheets of growth projections, and up early to mill. It was the end of a particularly long day of milling and all I wanted to do when I got home that evening was take a shower and crawl into bed. BUT I had committed to meeting with a visiting writer who had requested an interview about Carolina Ground, so begrudgingly I took a quick shower and headed back out into a cold and rainy night (it really was this much of a cliche).
My mood shifted-- from exhausted introvert to alert and engaged interviewee-- because Simran Sethi asked the right questions. She was in Asheville to interview me; David Bauer of Farm and Sparrow Breads + All Souls Pizza; and Tara Jensen of Smoke Signals Bakery. We were the subjects she had chosen to inform the bread section of her (recently published) Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love (HarperOne). That evening she helped me remember-- in a moment that I needed reminding-- why I do what I do. And now, two years later, as I read her beautifully crafted manuscript, I am again reminded of how invigorating it was to engage with Simran because it was clear to me that she was writing about more than food— that she understood that the rebuilding of a sustainable food system is larger than food. She writes Flour isn't just flour. Yes, taste and texture and variety are intrinsic to this slow climb out of the industrial commodified mess we have created, but so too, are human relationships. About our mill she writes, The ecosystem of Carolina Ground, as well as other regional growers and baker, reknit ties that globalization and industrialization have stretched thin— bringing the producer, consumer, and everyone in the middle, closer together. It offers us an opportunity for greater accountability, more intimacy and deeper connection.
Simran will be returning to Asheville next week, Thursday January 14th, 7PM, for a reading and book signing at Malaprops Cafe and Bookstore. We will join her— myself, Jennifer Lapidus of Carolina Ground, as well as David Bauer of Farm & Sparrow Breads, Tara Jensen of Smoke Signals Bakery, and Dr David Marshall, wheat breeder, USDA. So please come out and join us for a great discussion coupled with wine and bread.
from the ground up,