Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Make BREAD, not WAR.

It’s a crazy world.

And we’ve all experienced the private and work-place squabbles aired in mass emails and via other electronic means of gossip and slander.

Our answer to all this (aside from not having cell phones or internet at our farm) has always been to make bread.
little flower farm sourdough

Bread and Libel are similar. You take practically nothing and make something sensational with it. The difference is, while in character defamation you are tearing somebody down, in proffering bread you are literally building a body up.

My first success with a sourdough starter came when I read Chad Robertson (of Tartine, San Francisco fame) talking about how you’ve got to mix your flour and water with your very own hands. The baker has to get his hands dirty, to give something of (off of!) himself to make for fostering that wonderfully vibrant world of micro-organisms that will naturally leaven a loaf and lend the unique aroma and taste of your own home place.

In dealing with dough, all the things required of a mature adult when one is slammed on social media, or disgruntled by the recent newsfeed are exercised: patience, time, rest, observation, careful measurement and deliberation, kneading (or folding)- which can be cathartic and feel like taking out aggression while in actuality it is the building up of something-namely gluten to create good rise and crumb.

shaping the loaves

Like farming, making bread is a matter of setting up the conditions for favorable growth, and regularly checking in to lend a timely hand to the process that will never cease to humble and amaze as the magic of life and the internal design of living things manifests itself in new creations and fruition.

It’s a much better alternative to crafting a scathing reply on your iphone.

First you start making bread, and then you begin to be bread.

 “Give yourself….You must be as good as bread, which for everyone rests on the table and from which everyone, if hungry, may cut himself a piece for nourishment.”

-Albert Chmielowski

St. Albert Chmielowski, was a one-legged painter turned Franciscan. Born in Poland, he lost a leg in an uprising in 1863 and became a prisoner of war, narrowly escaping exile to Siberia and the death penalty. He then became a painter in Paris and Munich, and then, eventually became disenchanted with the never-ending race to achieve self-fulfillment through talent, something which he called the “most foolish and despicable form of idolatry”.  He became inspired by Francis of Assisi and his call to “rebuild the church”. He began to repair and renovate neglected wayside shrines, and preserve ancient oil paintings in the churches of Poland.

I can no longer stand the evil which the world feeds us. I can no longer wear the heavy chain. The world like a thief strips the heart of everything that is good; every day and every hour it pilfers love from people and steals serenity and happiness…”

Soon he was taking in the homeless into his own small studio apartment. Many of them were fellow war veterans. Eventually he went to live among the poor in filthy municipal shelters, where the conditions were morally and physically wretched.  saying:

“To prop up a wobbly table, you cannot weight it down at the top; you have to stoop down and support it from the bottom. The same is true of human indigence. To save the poor you must avoid burdening them with reprimands, rebukes, and sermons on morality, while you are well-fed and well-dressed; you must become poorer than the poorest among them in order to lift them up.”

This was a guy who made a lot of bread. He’s an inspiration for our farm because his quest for beauty in art led him to the beauty in his fellow human beings, and the call to nourish it, and thus nourish his own soul.
painting by Albert Chmielowski

We are currently offering bread for special order. Contact us via email for details. We are making weekly deliveries to the Twin Cities and suburbs.

Our regular Bread Share program is something we are gearing up for the Winter season, when the fields and animals require less of our attention. Our farmhouse sourdough is rapidly becoming our signature bread, which fits with our sustainable farming philosophy. Sourdough is the perfect compliment to  vegetables harvested fresh on nutrient dense local ground without the aid of chemicals. Baking with naturally leavened dough is a way to both respect the grain and the body’s health.

From Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions:

“Baking with natural leaven is in harmony with nature and maintains the integrity and nutrition of the cereal grains used….The process helps to increase and reinforce our body’s absorption of the cereal’s nutrients. Unlike yeasted bread that diminishes, even destroys much of the grains’s nutritional value, naturally leavend bread does not stale and, as it ages, maintains it original moisture much longer.”

-Jacques DeLangre

“May you never be without bread,

May you always be as good as bread.

May you ever be as sustaining as bread

May you allow others to cut you as bread.”
-Br. Albert




Email to order.

No comments:

Post a Comment