What are heirloom grains and what’s so special about them anyway? Are they really more flavorful and healthy than modern varieties? Come hear a grain historian, farmer, and baker discuss the pros and cons of heirloom grains and answer any questions you might have about historical wheat varieties. This panel discussion will take place in the field in front of nearly 200 historical spring wheat varieties so bring your cameras, sunscreen and lots of questions for this entertaining and informative session.
As a senior scientific assistant, Steve leads the greenhouse and field research portion of the Plant Breeding Program at Washington State University-Mount Vernon. Steve was a commercial grain and livestock producer in Eastern Washington for twelve years and has worked the past twenty-two years developing wheat varieties for Washington State University. In 2007 he was awarded the O.A. Vogel/Washington State Crop Improvement Award and in 2013 earned one of the highest honors in his profession by having a new grain named in his honor, Lyon Barley.
Josey Baker Bread started out in Josey’s San Francisco Mission apartment back in the Summer of 2010, but today JBB is a small team of bread bakers who specialize in whole grain sourdough bread. We work out of The Mill, the cafe/bakery collaboration with Four Barrel Coffee we opened in February 2012. JBB mills all of their whole grain flours in the bakery daily, and use these stone ground whole grain flours to bake about 420 loaves/day, 360 days/year.
Josey was born in New York, raised in Vermont, and moved to San Francisco in 2005. He was gifted a sourdough starter in 2010 from his childhood friend George, baked his first loaf a few days later, and the rest is… Well, time will tell what the rest of this crazy adventure is. As legend would have it, Josey started baking so much bread that he couldn’t eat it, couldn’t store it in his freezer, he had to start giving it away. Then one day a friend of his offered him some cash for this gift, and the lightbulb went on… On Thanksgiving morning 60 strangers showed up at Josey’s door to buy loaves of bread. A few months later Josey quit his day job and started baking full time, renting space from local pie bakery Mission Pie, and using the wood-fired oven at Oakland’s Pizzaiolo to sell bread to his customers through his Community Supported Bread (CSB) program. That Summer he teamed up with Four Barrel Coffee to build a cafe/bakery, and in February of 2012 The Mill was born.
Born and raised on a large farm in Alberta, Dan Abbott comes from six
generations of subsequent farmers. His grandparents left Nebraska to
take out a homestead, known as a “ten dollar” bet, near Edmonton,
Alberta in the early 1900’s. The family farm is now farmed by the 4th
generation. In his youth, many summer days were spent summer-fallowing
fields when the prevailing thought was to give the land a rest every
After working away and spending dual careers with the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a policeman and Morgan Stanley as a
financial advisor, he wanted to get back to farming in 2002 and
acquired a 10 acre oceanfront piece of property in the Sequim Valley.
He subsequently built and established the George Washington Inn, an
acclaimed B&B inn, and the Washington Lavender Farm, that hosts the
Washington Lavender Festival and the Northwest Colonial Festival as
agritourism efforts. His interest in heritage grains grew with the
colonial connection after a visit to George Washington’s Mount Vernon
In 2016, he grew test plots of 6 heritage varieties of grain and
this year has collaborated with The Bread Lab in growing 14 heritage
varieties. Guests at his inn may enjoy some of these grains now at
breakfast. His dreams include seeing a working grist mill on his
property where the process of seeing grain from ground to table can be
enjoyed by all.
Dr. Richard Scheuerman was raised on a farm between the rural Palouse Country communities of Endicott and St. John, Washington. After a twenty-five year career as teacher and administrator in Washington public schools, he began teaching and writing at Seattle Pacific University’s Graduate School of Education, and is co-founder of Palouse Colony Farm which raises landrace grains. Scheuerman holds degrees in history, Russian, and education and has written several books and articles on regional themes including The Volga Germans: Pioneers of the Pacific Northwest and Finding Chief Kamiakin, recent finalist for Washington Non-fiction Book of the Year. His most recent book, Harvest Heritage: Agricultural Origins and Heirloom Grains of the Pacific Northwest, was published in 2014 by WSU Press, and he is now at work on a companion volume, Hallowed Harvests: Reapers and Gleaners in Western Literature and the Fine Arts. Scheuerman is a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education and the Robert Gray Medal for contributions to historical scholarship.