Bread & Wood

Bread & Wood

Handcrafted Artisan Bread & Hardwood

The Local Scene: Morning Sun Farms

I took a bit of a drive this morning out to a small town called West Alexandria, Ohio, which is about 30 miles northeast of Oxford.  Even in the dull-grey late winter morning, it was a beautiful drive, and I was reminded what a gorgeous state we have.  I used to think the trees and fairly flat farmlands were a bit boring, but as I age I find such an appreciation for the beauty of the mid-west. 


Anyway, my drive found me at a farm known as Morning Sun.  A brick farm house and several barns sit about a quarter-mile off the road, and I drove my Toyota up the muddy rock driveway with grass-looking crops growing on either side.  One of those, I would later find out, was the beginnings of the Turkey wheat of which I was there to purchase.  


Dale Filbrun came out to greet me, and one of his sons loaded the organic wheat berries into the back of my car.  Before now, I’ve been buying my wheat from a little place in Clayton, Ohio, who receives shipments of wheat from Montana.  I’ve never seen their fields nor spoken with the farmers.  Now I can tell you I’ve seen the fields where some of the wheat that is going into your bread is being harvested, right here in the great state of Ohio, and I’ve met the man who makes it happen.


It’s no small feat to raise organic, heirloom wheat, especially in Ohio, where I’ve been told before that people don’t grow hard winter wheats because it doesn’t grow well in Ohio.  When I found out about Morning Sun Farms, I couldn’t believe there was a farmer growing these wheats in the area.  Without going into depth about the importance of hard wheats for bread (I’d like to dedicate another entry sometime to information about wheat and particularly Turkey wheat), I’ll just say that it’s very helpful in the development of gluten in the bread-making process, which is what makes breads stretch and have the ability to hold CO2 so it can “rise.” 


I’ve only been running a very very small business for a little over a year now, but in that amount of time I’ve had the privilege to meet some amazing business owners who are not only honest, hard-working people, but who also care about the health and wellness of their customers.  Dale grows grains and raises healthy animals for meat not because it is the most profitable and easiest route, but because he believes in what he’s doing.  I have so much respect for the hours and hours of dedicated work that goes into his farming that many people will never quite understand, and yet he does it anyway because he knows it is good.  His farming practices take care of the land and its people in a way that most modern farming doesn’t. 


If you haven’t checked out their stand, Morning Sun Farms sells excellent meats as well as organic grains right here in Oxford at the Oxford Farmer’s Market.  I highly recommend giving them a visit, as you’ll not only receive good products but kind and friendly service as well. 


I’ll be transitioning to Dale’s organic, heirloom Turkey wheat for all of my whole-wheat needs in about a week.  I’ll be grinding his wheat right here in the house, and it will go into your bread with great love.  :)


Get to know your farmers and producers.  There are some awesome people out there… 


Happy eating!



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