upclose of rye stalks in a field of rye

From helping the supply chain to the climate, there are so many reasons to be excited about local grains! Ready to dive into the world of local food yourself? We are excited to extend an invitation to you to ‘Follow the Grain’ to Vermont with us! Join us for a weekend getaway in Vermont, July 15-17, 2022. We’ll get behind-the-scenes access to the passionate growers, millers, bakers, and distillers powering the grain revival in this beautiful area of the Northeast.

Innovative and bold artisans lead the local food scene here, honoring the land and creating products that are consistently ranked best in their category. This awe-inspiring mix of old ways and innovation inspired the Whole Grains Council and Northeast Garnished Alliance to partner up and create a tour. Experience producers’ connections to the land and their community, and witness the commitment-to-craft that continues to spur innovation and progress in this grain economy nestled in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Farmer standing in front of silo of rye grains

WHAT YOU’LL EXPLORE

Impact of Connection

The survival of each aspect of a local economy requires connections, support, and innovation. Join us and meet the baker whose desire for freshly-ground flour resulted in what is now an internationally sought-after grain mill company. Visit the farm that inspired the idea for an award-winning distillery. Meet the minds behind a blue cheese that uses local sourdough microbes. The creativity born through connection and community is endless.

The evolution of a grain economy may not be linear, but a grain’s path is! Follow the grain from the farm where it’s grown to the micro mill and wood-fired bakery where it’s ground and baked — all within a few miles.

Learn From the Experts: Chef Demos

When we talk about local food, we tend to stay rooted in the limited European narrative of what is local to a place. Vermont, however, has been home to the Abenaki for centuries. Expand the narrative of what local is and learn about indigenous local ingredients, including grains! Enjoy the creativity and delicious results of melding past and present knowledge in a lunch demo with Abenaki Chef Jessee Lawyer. 

We can’t go on a grain tour without learning about baking with local, whole grains! Learn the ins and outs of baking with local, freshly-milled, whole grain flour in naturally leavened bread with European bakery, Brot Bakehouse. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of why and how freshly-milled whole grains play a key role in some of the most beloved breads across the country, and how to replicate these tips and tricks in their home kitchen.  

Sense of Place: Hill Farmstead Brewery and Jasper Hill Cheese

Experience what it means to commit to being part of a local economy and learn about the products made as expressions of place.

At Hill Farmstead brewery, repeatedly named “The Best Brewery in the World”, Shaun Hill’s connection to his family and his family’s land – where the brewery is located – is visceral. The beers are all named after Hill family members and products from their land, such as dandelions from their fields, are often added to the brewing process. The limited, if relatively nonexistent, distribution of Hill Farmstead beer reflects just how rooted to their community they are. Their beer belongs to a distinct place and experiencing it where it belongs is a form of respect for what the beer represents. Tours are not typically offered here, but in acknowledging the importance of our trip’s mission, we have been offered a tour and tasting at the brewery.

A loaf of freshly baked bread

Right over the hill from Hill Farmstead is Jasper Hill Cellars. Despite their international fame, what inspires them and is expressed through their cheese is the Vermont land they live on. We’ll tour the grounds at Jasper Hill Cellars, learn about their process, and enjoy a tasting of their award-winning cheeses.

We hope you join us this summer and experience the inner workings of a vibrant local grain economy. Do you know of another vibrant local grain economy we should visit? Comment below and perhaps we’ll Follow the Grain to you! (Abby)

 


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