Wheat (Ep.3)


EPISODE (24:01)
Research is demonstrating how one of our most important staple foods has been losing its nutritional value and flavour for decades. Breeders, farmers, bakers, chefs and eaters are now coming together to reverse this trend and cultivate local wheat economies. Featuring Chef John Sundstrom – Lark, Stephen Jones – The Bread Lab, Washington State University, Arron Carter – Washington State University, Don Davis – Washington State University, Kevin Christenson – Fairhaven Organic Flour, Roy Lawrence – Kootenay Grain CSA, Sam Lucy – Bluebird Grain Farms, Scott Mangold – Breadfarm, and others.


Local Flour Mills (5:09)
A key component to a viable local wheat economy is the presence of local flour mills. Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill in Burlington, WA is but one working example of a small commercial flour mill which supports local farmers and supplies local bakeries, restaurants and eaters. The role of small personal mills for the home kitchen is also explored.


Reading the Label (2:44)
Preparing and baking fresh bread requires 4 ingredients: flour, water, yeast and salt. Yet for most of the commercial breads found on grocery store shelves, a glance at the ingredients on the label reveals a much different story.


In the Kitchen: Homemade Pasta with Chef John Sundstrom (5:19)
Making pasta at home is an easy activity for the whole family to enjoy and a great way to showcase the flavour of local wheat (if available). Chef John Sundstrom takes us through the steps of making fresh pasta. For John, he uses a local, heritage variety and mills it fresh at home.


Sourdough – Predigesting Our Wheat (5:03)
The natural fermentation of wheat, water and wild yeast is known as the sourdough process and has long been the practice among artisan bakers to enable bread to rise. Today, most commercial and home-baked products, use a manufactured yeast as a quicker and more controlled option. But when speed and volume are replaced with patience, baked goods take advantage of what’s been known for millennia – fermented foods are a healthy choice.


Sailing Grain (5:23)
In 2008 – Canada’s first community supported agriculture (CSA) for grain was established in the mountains of British Columbia. To transport the grain from farm to plate, members of the project chose a unique method of transportation – sailboats!


In the Kitchen: Homemade Crackers with Chef John Sundstrom (3:34)
The presence of wheat in the diet is certainly not restricted to just bread. Baked goods such as crackers are a popular staple in many kitchens and Chef John Sundstrom takes us through a step-by-step demonstration on making crackers at home. No more need to purchase the packaged (and sometimes stale) versions from the supermarket.


The Bread Lab (4:43)
The Bread Lab is a one-of-a-kind center of research at Washington State University. Located in Mount Vernon, the lab brings together farmers, millers and bakers to research wheat varieties best suited to small-scale


Restaurant Profile: Lark (3:07)
Lark is a pioneer in the farm-to-table philosophy being adopted by many chefs throughout North America. Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Chef-Owner John Sundstrom created Lark to be a warm dining experience meant to be shared with friends and family. The menu features small plates of locally-produced and organic cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats, all prepared with a focus on flavor and quality. They work with local artisans, farmers, and foragers and the menu is constantly changing as it’s dictated by the availability of seasonal ingredients.



  1. Basic Sourdough Bread
  2. Sourdough Pancakes
  3. Lark Crackers
  4. Emmer (farro), w/ Mascarpone, Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
  5. Rabbit with Morels, Favas and Emmer Papardelle