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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Grinding Your Own Flour

I've had a couple of inquiries lately about people interested in either promoting their products or wanting to know about products for grinding your own wheat to make flour so I thought I would combine the two interests on this post.

When we set out to eat locally for a year in the one of the richest grain producing regions in the world we planned on grinding our own flour for the year. We bought a used Magic Mill grinder on Ebay that had been recommended to us by some friends, acquired some whole wheat berries from a farmer, and then never got around to grinding our own flour. Making butter and ice cream and yogurt among other things was all we could handle I guess. We also lost a little steam when we found out that almost all the flour for sale in the stores nears us is not only local but it's actually the same flour no matter which brand you buy. 

But I did investigate enough to know that it's difficult to find the whole grains to grind. They aren't readily available in stores. I was pleased to find out recently about Joseph's Grainery in Colfax Washington, about 45 minutes south of Spokane. They are selling barley, hard red wheat, lentils and soft white wheat. We ought to figure out a way to sell their products at the Farmers' Markets. 

Local Harvest is also a good place to investigate places nearby that sell whole grains. 

The wheat you grind at home is likely almost identical to the product that is ground at the ADM Mill down the street from my house, but there are some advantages to grinding your own wheat. It will be fresher and be free of preservatives and additives that may be in store bought flour. When we asked the folks at the ADM mill if they added preservatives they denied it, but explained that they do add nutritional supplements.

Home ground flour is also free from the industrial environment of a modern flour mill. When we visited the ADM Mill during our year it was a little disconcerting to find out that on that particular day they weren't grinding any flour because they were fumigating the whole mill. Even though they do this in a safe way that ensures safe flour on our store shelves, it is empowering to oversee the production of the flour.

All this has got me thinking I need to break out our old Magic Mill and give it a shot.

When it comes to flour grinders the highly rated Magic Mill that we purchased is discontinued. How about you flour grinding veterans out there. Do you have a machine to recommend to those interested in grinding their own flour?

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at