Oatman Farms and Dirt Lady Bread have partnered together to heal our relationship with bread through certified organic regenerative farming, cold stone milling, and heritage fermented baking.
Bread is an essential element of life, predating many peoples and cultures; a legacy of fermentation and nutrition responsible for the global foodways of today. What was once a cornerstone of tradition, diet, and health has since become a source of shame and inflammation. Healing our relationship with bread requires balance in farming, milling, and baking.
In the West, there has been a massive cultural attack on wheat and bread, both in their production and perception. The confluence of agricultural policy and practice (Farm Bill/subsidies, monocropping/GMO, pesticides/herbicides, milling/baking) have mainstreamed wheat that is as detrimental to the planet as it is to our bodies. The bottom line of production has trumped sustainable farming and processing practices resulting in a system that is more convoluted than we can get into here.
However, there are important elements of turning wheat into flour that manifest the problems of production into problems of perception. One loaf of bread is an entire cycle: seed to harvest, milling to flour, flour to baking, baking to digesting. Every element of this cycle has been polluted by conventional standards. In a brief overstory- conventional farming practices produce a crop that is nutritionally void, stripping the land and wheat of its ability to draw up nutrition from the soil and coating the crop in pesticides and herbicides. This wheat is then milled into flour using methods that strip the wheat germ containing essential nutrients and enzymes. Often this is followed by bleaching and enrichment processes. From this point, the flour is used to bake a loaf of bread filled with a slew of preservatives, fillers, and artificial yeast that results in a near-indefinite shelf life. Pesticides contain glyphosate, enrichments contain niacin, and preservatives contain a slew of chemicals - all proven to be inflammatory to the gut microbiome. Is it any wonder the health movement has assaulted bread and gluten?
Eating wheat that is so stripped of its nutritional content causes such dietary inflammation that many people have abandoned bread altogether. Nonetheless, a major paradigm shift happened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic: a sourdough craze took over. The sourdough movement makes evident the desire for bread to be a balanced part of our diets; something that is as beneficial to our gut microbiomes as it is our delicious.
That is why Oatman Farms and Dirt Lady Bread have partnered together: to heal our relationship with bread through certified organic regenerative farming, cold stone milling, and heritage fermented baking. We are working together to tackle the wicked problems that face growing wheat and baking bread, to create an alternative pathway for consumers, and set the standard for producers.
Dirt Lady Bread is a cottage bakery run by Baker Molly Carney, providing artisanal fermented bread to Tucson, Arizona. Dirt Lady Bread uses only the finest and freshest organic flour, filtered water, Utah ‘real’ salt, yeast, and heritage sourdough to ensure the highest quality bread. What makes Dirt Lady Bread unique is the emphasis on gluten development and fermentation. Using naturally-leavened and fermented yeasts, our loaves are intentionally crafted for efficient digestion and metabolic support. Flour is the most important element of this equation, which is why Oatman Farms is the obvious choice.
Oatman Farms’ flour comes from the first Regenerative Organic CertifiedⓇ farm in the Southwest. Regenerative Agriculture is not a new practice; it’s how indigenous people have been cultivating and stewarding the land for millennia. It is a farming method that promotes long-term soil health by minimizing soil disturbances and synthetic inputs so that life can thrive above and below ground, as nature intended. The aim is to mill the flour 30 to 45 days prior to packing to ensure freshness straight from farm to kitchen. In turn, these practices produce much more nutritionally dense (and delicious) flour.
Right now, Carney is experimenting with the many Regenerative Organic Certified®, stone-milled, heritage wheat flours in the test kitchen. We are excited to share this aligned partnership with you, and we hope you’ll follow us along in healing our relationship with bread.
To learn more about Dirt Lady Bread please visit dirtladybread.com.