I’ve written about Shepherd’s Grain flour on this site before, so I was excited to hear a founder of the company speak at the International Food Blogger’s Conference. What wasn’t entirely clear to me before was that Shepherd’s Grain (flour made from wheat grown in Washington state) is a separate company from Stone-Buhr. Stone-Buhr stocks the all purpose flour in stores, which is excellent because it makes the flour available to us in larger grocery chains including QFC and Fred Meyer stores here in Washington. Shepherd’s Grain has a few different products including high and low gluten flour, whole wheat and cake flour.
Shepherd’s Grain was started by two long time farmers who wanted to build a market for more sustainable farming. The whole chain of product has nothing but advantages, the farmers are paid a fair amount for their wheat, the farming practices help preserve the quickly eroding topsoil of the farmlands in the Pacific Northwest where it’s grown, and the consumer knows where their flour comes from and can even track their flour back to the farm at FindTheFarmer.com and see pictures of the farmers on the Growers pages. You can read more about the company’s sustainablity here, their farming practices have been certified “environmentally and socially responsible” by Food Alliance. The company keeps a monthly newsletter so you can keep in touch with what they are up to. It isn’t any more expensive than other flours, and if you can find it I encourage you to buy it. Supporting this company means you are supporting sustainable farming, gentler treatment of our farmlands and some awfully cool people.
update:Seattle Tall Poppy reminded me that you can listen to an mp3 of a session of IFBC that Carl Coopers, one of the founders of Shepherd’s Grain, spoke at called “Passionate Purveyors & Producers”. Carl’s talk about Shepherd’s Grain starts at 8:24.