Anyone who is remotely interested in good bread has heard of Andrew Whitley – craft baking pioneer, original founder of the Village Bakery in Cumbria, author of the amazing wonderful Bread Matters which tells you everything you ever wanted or needed to know about bread and, more recently, Do Sourdough (reviewed in this blog) – and ‘runner’ of wonderful baking courses.
Some years ago Andrew sold the Village Bakery and moved to Scotland where he has become deeply involved in projects to improve the quality of Scottish wheat and thereby the quality of Scottish bread. As he says:
Scotland grows a lot of wheat but precious little of it is used to make bread. We rely on imports and so have little control over this staple food. It turns out that the wheat varieties in today’s bread may well have less of the nutrients needed for health than in the past. Better grain and better bread can help solve our growing health problems, so we’ve started research to find more nutritious wheats, suitable for low-impact farming. And we’re passing on the skills that turn locally-grown wheat into delicious, healthy bread.
To help local communities bring better bread within everyone’s reach, we’re supporting six groups to grow their own healthy bread, from the soil to the slice. The plan is to:
1. Provide seed from three Scottish heritage wheat varieties we’ve identified that look promising and support each group through a year of growing, milling and baking.
2. Provide small-scale portable equipment to sow and then to thresh, clean and mill the home-grown grains.
3. Host a Knowledge Exchange for experts, farmers, scientists and community growers, to compare notes, share grains and steer future research.
But, of course, to do that they need money – so they are crowdfunding. Why? Well…
If the aim was to swell the coffers of grain barons and industrial bakers, it would be pretty easy to get our research funded. But this project is concerned with the health and nourishment of the whole community, so we’re asking everyone to lend a hand.
Their aim is to reach £6,000 at which point the A Team Challenge will match it with a £6,000 loan to Scotland The Bread, so they will have £12,000 to work with. And they are doing really well and have raised all but £5,000 of their £6,000 target sum. But they only have 10 days left to raise the balance so, can you help?…
Check in to their crowdfunding site here where you can contribute anything from £10 to £1000! And get some lovely bready gifts in return!