About the Bakery

Box Turtle Bakery is a home-based business sharing space in my kitchen and taking over my former dining room. Officially I am organized as an LLC with myself as the current sole owner/operator. Since I produce low-risk baked goods, I am inspected by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture rather than the County Health Department. I don't receive a restaurant grade, but certainly promise to maintain a very sanitary bakery and would be happy to give you a tour at one of my open houses or during my regular pickup hours. I am committed to doing the most I possibly can with locally-grown whole grains. I will have to import in grains from out-of-state sometimes and will always be happy to describe the source and reason for specific grains. I always mill all my flours fresh so you are guaranteed a fresh (non-rancid) whole-grain flour or high-extraction flour (one where a small percentage of the bran is removed). I also believe it is especially important to avoid fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides when using whole grains and will make sure even if they aren't certified that these haven't be used on my grains and that I use well-grown local ingredients or organically certified ingredients. In addition my breads and quickbreads use flours that are soaked at least 18 hours. Much like the process of sprouting a seed, this improves the nutrition of the breads as well as enhances the flavor.

Open Source Bakery

I like the "Open Source" software model and want to eventually do a full job of sharing my sources and methods to encourage that same kind of collaboration and gradual improvements with other bakers that many software developers enjoy. I've already benefited greatly from the same from connecting with other bakers. The old website has some of that now and the Tumblr blog will likely collect them in the future, but here are a couple of detailed notes that I put together for some classes. I use an outlining tool called FreeMind (open source of course!) to create these and then to publish them as flash applications for dynamic viewing and navigation:

  • All about Grains - A household-scale view of taking grains from seed to field to table
  • Grain Varieties - An outline of wheat and wheat relatives and a few other species
One of the things at the heart of my bakery is my flour mill and my current primary mills are the the KoMo XL (one is an XL Plus). These folks are the only US importer of these mills and have been very nice to work with.
Pleasant Hill Grain
View of Bakery (Facing South)

Grain Producers

Here is a quick list of what I am looking for:
  1. Quantity needed annually: I'm currently buying 6,000 to 9,000lbs/year.
  2. Cleaning/dehulling: Very clean grain is preferred although I may be able to eventually take on more of this function myself. Any seed cleaning service needs to be experienced with cleaning grains for milling for human consumption. I have already seen seed come back from one cleaner that was in some ways worse than when he got it and I had to clean it again. Low moisture, proper combining and prompt cleaning of the grain is the best start for keeping the quality of the grains high. My small bucket storage can tolerate higher moisture percentages than the typically recommended 10-12%. I have successfully stored at 13.35% moisture, but saw problems at a 14.63% moisture.
  3. Packaging/storage: 25lb, 50lb, or 1 ton totes are all OK. If I am picking up grain I can bring and fill my own storage buckets from your temporary storage. I can store all my annual grains on-site at the bakery. I like to get grain cleaned and put away ASAP after harvest.
  4. Types of grain: I use primarily hard winter wheat (both red and white), but also use soft wheat, rye, and oats to a significant extent. Other small grains such as buckwheat, barley, sorghum, etc. are of interest although I won't use much of those. For all these grains I am very interested in varieties that have unique flavor, aroma, and baking characteristics. I am interested for example in the hard wheat varieties of Kamut, Spelt, Red Fife, and Appalachian White. I am willing to offer advice on varieties or to help the farmer obtain the seed. I am also active in trials of more rare grain seeds and if successful can provide small quantities to farmers to grow out. Quality and flavor are my primary goals rather than lowest price per bushel.
  5. Farms closer to Carrboro, NC are preferred.
  6. Certified organic or equivalent methods are strongly preferred, but not required. I do prefer crops that have not had any pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide applied. This use of conventional nitrogen and a fungicide-treated planting seed is acceptable. I have not had any problems with insects in my small air-tight containers so prefer no treatment, but food-grade diatomaceous earth is acceptable.

Flat-Out Tastier from Simone Duval on Vimeo.