Freshly Ground, Locally Grown Whole Wheat Flour From Richardson Farms

A local farmers' market has become more complete with Richardson Farms' new offering

Richardson Farms owner Jim Richardson holds a bag of his whole wheat flour at Sunset Valley Farmers Market.
Richardson Farms owner Jim Richardson holds a bag of his whole wheat flour at Sunset Valley Farmers Market. (Photo by John Anderson)

In addition to operating year-round, our local farmers' markets are among the finest and most comprehensive in the country. The markets became even more complete this autumn, when Richardson Farms became the first booth selling freshly ground whole wheat flour.

Just as most modern Americans have never cooked with genuinely fresh-laid eggs, most of us haven't had the pleasure of baking with freshly ground flours and meals. Unsurprisingly, the difference in flavor is remarkable. Richardson Farms' whole wheat flour is ground from hard red winter wheat grown on the Richardsons' Milam County farm. The bright, nutty flavor of the grain itself is boldly forward on the palate and undiminished by storage.

Perhaps because the flour is so fresh, baked goods made from Richard­son's whole wheat are lighter than baked goods made with regular whole wheat flour. Local chef Jesse Griffiths currently uses Richard­son's whole wheat flour in the light, chewy-crusted biscuits he serves at the farmers' market. He also uses it for whole wheat bread, muffins, and occasionally even beignets. Using the flour for pancakes, I've found I don't need to add any chemical leavening; the combination of the fresh flour and the buttermilk makes perfectly raised flapjacks, with a flawless appearance and deeply satisfying, old-fashioned flavor.

"We started out bringing a hundred pounds of whole wheat flour to the market on Saturdays," relates farmer Jim Richardson, "and we sold out. Every weekend since then, I bring a hundred pounds, and it keeps on selling out. Right now I have 12 acres in hard red winter wheat; it's doing pretty good, about 4 inches tall, and I'll be harvesting it in May. I'm looking to find some heritage corn seed for the spring, so we can do fresh cornmeal, too."

Richardson Farms keeps a booth at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market, and the flour sells for $2 per pound in a variety of package sizes.

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