Neighbor Loaves: A Local Grain Collaboration in New Jersey!

River Valley Community Grains, a Northeast Grainshed member in Long Valley, NJ has partnered with a farmer, baker, and food pantry to provide bread for people in need through the Neighbor Loaves program. This collaboration is supporting the entire grain supply chain in New Jersey- from soil to loaf. Here are the details of this inspiring story…

The wheat was grown at Ruthie’s Farm in Marksboro, and stone-milled into flour by River Valley Community Grains in Long Valley. Nutritious and delicious Neighbor loaves will be baked by Montclair Bread Company in Montclair using this fresh flour. Neighbor Loaves will be purchased by Montclair Bread Company’s customers and donated to Toni’s Kitchen, also in Montclair. People in need will enjoy the Neighbor Loaves, thanks to this incredible collaboration! 

Can you say positive, local feedback loop!


This is just the kind of collaboration that the Neighbor Loaves program is promoting!

Thanks to everyone involved with the Neighbor Loaves program in the Northeast! If you want to get involve or learn more check out our website or email us at

Flours for Mother’s Day!

Give your Mom a bouquet of fresh milled flour this Mother’s Day!

The following mills are working with the Northeast Grainshed to support grain farmers and millers in the Northeast, and provide a healthy and delicious pancake recipe for your Mom.

Order your Mother’s Day Flour Bouquet from these Northeast Millers!

Massachusetts:   One Mighty Mill  and  Ground Up Grain 

New Jersey: River Valley Community Grains

Vermont: Naga Bakehouse  

The Best Pancakes, recipe from Amy Halloran the Flour Ambassador!

Northeast Grainshed joins the “Neighbor Loaves” program!

Northeast Grainshed joins the “Neighbor Loaves” program!

The Northeast Grainshed recently joined Neighbor Loaves, a program launched by the Artisan Grain Collaborative. Customers buy loaves that bakers donate to food pantries, and the effort invests in the entire supply chain from field to loaf. This initiative helps secure the local grain chain during the pandemic.

Joining is easy. The promotional, informational, and participation steps are already prepared.

Here’s how it works:

Consumers purchase Neighbor Loaves℠ online from participating bakeries.
Bakers source grain from Northeast farms and bake Neighbor Loaves, which contain at least 50% locally grown and ground flour.

Neighbor Loaves are distributed to community feeding organizations to support your neighbors in need.

Right now, farmers are planting grain, and they need to know they’ll have a place to sell this year’s crop. Local mills need to keep busy grinding last year’s grain, while bakers are facing reduced revenue in this new environment.

At the same time, emergency feeding organizations are in need of bread. Food banks and pantries often rely on donations from retailers, but since bread is flying off the shelves at food co-ops and grocery stores, there isn’t much to spare.

Neighbor Loaves creates links from cities and towns all the all the way back to Northeast fields. Neighbor Loaves are made with at least 50% local flour, paid for by donations that help bakers meet expenses, while investing in local grain farms and mills.

The concept is ours to shape as our imagination desires. Feel free to use this format to donate any grain product to people in need while supporting grain-based businesses. Maybe it’s neighbor pancake mix, or neighbor whiskey to support hand sanitizer production. Or tortillas, granola or breakfast bars. Let’s capture folks’ generosity and keep our critical grain supply chain primed, and ready to serve us once we come out of disaster.

Interested in joining Neighbor Loaves? Please get in touch for more information at

Domoy Farms’s new seed truck spreads the word…and the grain!

Northeast Grainshed Founding member and Advisory Board member Francis Domoy got in touch with us a few weeks ago about putting the Northeast Grainshed logo on his Domoy Farm seed truck. Here is his story…

“The story of the seed truck! After many years of handling seed in many ways: paper bags, super sacks and a bushel basket gathered from a gravity wagon the time arrived to add the use of an auger with hydraulics to load grain drills, planters and the spreading of cover crop seeds to the farm.
After driving by the cab and chassis parked with a ‘for sale’ sign many times (the truck showed much wear from delivering propane through many winters) we decided to buy and rejuvenate the vehicle. Lots of scraping, sanding, priming, and then painting – it was brought back to life for a gravity box to be mounted to hold bulk seed. Wow! What a piece of work to carry those precious tiny seeds for planting in the Northeast Grainshed.
After bringing the seed truck to life, an email arrived entitled Born Bred and Brewed in New York which really energized our farm interest saying we must consider making the maiden use of the seed truck to plant this new barley variety. After numerous emails with Cornell and it’s plant breeders, we were allowed to plant CU31 barley on our farm!!!! It was like the Seed Truck was honored to complete the mission of Cornell’s dedication to the Born, Bred, and Brewed project lead by Mark Sorrells, Gary Bergstrom and tired graduate student Daniel Sweeney from the Love Lab.
And so the precious seeds arrive in the hands of Phil Atkins to be placed in the Seed Truck for planting this coming week ready once soil is ready to go.
The Seed Truck contributes to the Northeast Grainshed!!!!!

Over 600 people wordwide join Quarantinystarter Project!

Meet Andrew Janjigian – our newest Northeast Grainshed member!

“I’m a senior editor and resident breadhead at Cook’s Illustrated magazine and America’s Test Kitchen in Boston, MA, and a bread & pizza baking instructor at King Arthur Flour in Vermont and elsewhere.

I recently launched the Quarantinystarter Project, a from-scratch sourdough starter creation method that utilizes minimal amounts of flour, for times like now, when both yeast and flour are hard to come by, but time is plentiful. To date, more than 600 people worldwide are participating. At home, I bake with whole & local grains whenever possible, and am glad that the local grain movement is taking off here in New England and the Northeast.”

Northeast Grainshed Members Gary Bergstrom, Mark Sorrells and Cheryl Thayer highlighted in the Cornell Chronicle today

With new barley variety, Cornell leads way for brewers

Cornell researchers have just released a new variety of New York-adapted spring barley, to meet needs created by a 2012 Farm Brewery Bill that expects New York’s craft brewers to steadily increase the amount of state-sourced ingredients used in their beer.

Read the entire article, by clicking here


Grainshed Moment – Thor Oechsner

What was your Grainshed Moment?

(recorded at the Northeast Grainshed Symposium Jan 2020)

Thor Oechsner from Oechsner Farms sharing his Grainshed Moment (seated with Stefan Senders of Wide Awake Bakery).

Thor Oeschner of Oechsner Farms is a certified organic grain farm in Newfield, New York. We farm 1200 acres of corn, winter, and spring wheat, buckwheat, rye, soybeans, clover, hay and cover crops throughout Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes. We process, clean, and ship food-grade grains ready for small flour mills, bakeries, malthouses, distilleries and breweries to use. Soil health is also one of our top priorities.

SILO Distillery is Going the Extra Mile to Help us Stay Healthy

Erin Bell, Head Spirits Distiller / Production Manager of Silo Distillery and Northeast Grainshed member shares how they are going the extra mile to use their facility for the production of hand sanitizer. Support them by clicking here!

“About two weeks ago we started making our own hand sanitizer in-house to put guests in our tasting room at ease.  When some local area restaurants found out, they approached us about sourcing some. So we made more. 

 Then at the beginning of last week, it felt like the whole world shut down.  

All of our restaurant and bar customers shuttered their doors and we thought we were done for good, too.  We rely so much on our own retail and bar programs for revenue, as well as on-premise distribution, that we weren’t sure what would happen next.  All of our staff except me chose to go on unemployment (there are ten of us total). I stayed on to keep producing some more sanitizer to donate for what I thought was our last week of business and to button up some stuff around the facility.  We released a statement on Monday saying folks in our local area could come to pick up sanitizer free of charge with their own bottles. We thought it would help ease the anxiety that most are feeling right now.

Then Wednesday The FDA and TTB announced that we could legally produce sanitizer (we were toeing a line legally, but we kind of didn’t care, we wanted to help).  And our first day of free pickups went well, with 40 visitors. Then the news got wind of everything. 

We have provided 100 gallons of sanitizer to individuals, companies, health facilities, nursing homes, UPS, first responders, Police, and volunteer organizations in the last 4 days. 

I will be making another large batch today to provide more, but the demand has been overwhelming, to say the least.

Our distillery is in a unique position since we are a vodka producer.  Vodka is ethanol, the main ingredient in hand sanitizer (or isopropyl alcohol is used in place of it) and we are able to produce high volumes at 95% and up in just a few hours. 

We make it from Vermont grown corn. 

The other two ingredients are hydrogen peroxide and glycerin.  We were a bit ahead of the curve and bought about 16 gallons of glycerin before things started getting crazy, and were able to source the Hydrogen peroxide locally.  We are adhering to the WHO’s recipe, which combines those three ingredients and sterile water (which we also produce here). We add nothing else, as dictated by the FDA.

We have so far been doing this at our own cost.  We just put out a GoFundMe (click on GoFundMe) campaign to raise $5000 more for supplies and to be able to start paying some of our staff who were furloughed when we initially had to shut our doors.  It also helps us buy more grain from our farmers to make the ethanol.  And containers to get the bulk amounts out to larger groups and facilities.  Bottles are hard to come by these days (which is mind blowing).

Any excess will be donated to the NOFA Farmer Relief Fund…

At this point, we feel we might be doing this for a few weeks at least.  The more we get, the more we will make. We are also looking into local area partners who may be able to help us distribute the hand solution to individuals through their storefronts.  This will be a packaged version and will be sold retail through our partners to cover the costs of packaging and to raise funds for other local area groups.”

Find out more here 

Baker and Northeast Grainshed Member Jess Wagoner is Rising to the Occasion  

  • Offering online bread baking classes (donations welcome)
  • Baking beautiful loaves of sourdough bread for her neighbors
  • Jess is doing what she can for her community, both local and online – show your support!

Check out her online class “Intro to Sourdough – Quarantine Style at her website Grainiacs Unite, or simply click here 

Jess provides a list of ingredients, and tools needed for her classes, as well as a link to find the supplies you need.

Grainiacs Unite


“In Ayr’s Kitchen”

Clover Food Lab Founder & Northeast Grainshed Member invites you into his kitchen!

With the advent of this crisis,  restaurants moving to takeout/delivery only, or temporarily closing their doors, most of us have probably stocked up on groceries and will be staying home and hunkering down.

That means there’s going to be a lot more home-cooking happening.

Join Ayr Muir, Founder, and CEO of Clover Food Lab, in his home kitchen where he will be sharing advice on cooking at home, as well as special tips and recipes! Each “episode” will be centered around common pantry staples -like flour, salt, beans, water, veggies. And we’ll be highlighting our favorite regional purveyors too if you need to do some online grocery shopping.

Ayr will be sharing a livestream video at 3pm – Monday through Friday, starting Monday, March 23rd. Ayr will be cooking in real-time (no “TV magic”) so that you can follow along in your own kitchen.

Subscribe to Youtube channel In Ayr’s Kitchen.

A schedule of the “shows” will be posted here –

Week One:  March 23 – 27   

Topic: BREAD!

Ayr will be joined by Richard Bourdon from Berkshire Mountain Bakery on the 1st episode as a special guest. He will also direct viewers to Maine Grains’ online store as a recommended resource for local flour and other supplies.