Origin Stories: Where Flour Comes From

When I was back in my hometown of Bluffton, Ohio over the Christmas holiday, I asked some friends about where I might get some local flour.  The answer: Tim King.  I've recently enjoyed making homemade pasta, and was starting to think about baking bread.  I drove out to Tim's place and while I was there, got a great in-person education on how wheat becomes flour.

Watch the video below to see how flour was made for me, then read on for info about Tim's farm, more photos, and to find out where you can buy his product.

Tim stopped using chemicals in 1988 and has been certified organic for the past 12 years.  Like many farmers/producers I've spoken with, the process of getting formally certified as organic has become a hindrance, so he's likely not to continue certification, but plans to remain what some have called "beyond organic."  He told me a bit about the challenges of finding a consistent source and price to sell his product - from dumping his wheat at the local elevator with all the non-organic wheat in the area to 2007 when global freezes, flooding, and drought caused prices to rise substantially. After selling over a million pounds of wheat to the McComb, Ohio Consolidated Biscuit Factory (CBF), CBF's relationship with Wal-Mart put the little guy out of luck.  Now, he's working to sell as much product as possible directly.

There are 6 major kinds of wheat.  The most common is hard red winter wheat, and Ohio - particularly Northwest Ohio - is famous for soft red winter wheat.  Watch the slideshow and read the captions for more on how the process works.

If you'd like to buy flour from Tim King, call him at 419.303.3144 or email at timmyflour@yahoo.com.

Thanks for the tutorial, Tim!

1 comment:

more local food said...

i used to buy spelt flour from a farmer up near wooster and it was great! when i get back from guatemala, i´ll be hooking up with tim for some of his wheat flour. thanks for all the good info, gavin and tim. tim, are you still selling beef? i thought it was either you or your dad i bought beef from when we lived in bluffotn.