- In the garden: N.C. State professor Will Hooker uses his yard to demonstrate the fundamentals of permaculture. Read more here.
- On the box: General Mills to begin labeling GMO content nationwide in response to Vermont law. Read more here.
- Biogas: WRAL reports on Duke Energy’s plan to turn NC pig poop into power. Read more here.
- Nine million hogs: Civil Eats reports on efforts to get the EPA to investigate claims that commercial hog farming is an environmental burden for people of color living in Southeastern NC. Read more here.
- On the grind: Gristmills in Western NC turn heritage corn into culinary gold. Read more here.
Food of the week: corn
The renewed interest in old-fashioned gristmills might be key to saving some forgotten flavors, including heirloom varieties of corn. Mountain Xpress talked with mill and restaurant owner David Bauer:
When you’re milling, you’re getting different extractions through different screen setups,” says David Bauer, the mastermind behind Farm & Sparrow Bakery and All Souls Pizza. “You’re getting corn flour through your first shoot, polenta through the next shoot, and then grits through the next one. So I’ll do a run of corn, and the polenta becomes the polenta crust pizza at the restaurant, the corn flour becomes our cornbread, and then the grits go to Buxton Hall, so they’re all being pulled in different directions.”
Farm & Sparrow is also widely recognized for its commitment to using heirloom grains and corns. Besides growing some itself, the bakery works with growers in Georgia, Tennessee, coastal Carolina and Madison County. Together, they’re helping revive an array of heirloom corns, including Tennessee Red Cob and Bloody Butcher Red Dent Corn.
You can learn more about heirloom corn varieties here.