In search of locally grown grains – Maine Grains

Earlier this spring we drove to Skowhegan, Maine to visit Maine Grains where we met with co-owner and miller, Amber Lambke.   Maine Grains produces their organic products at the Somerset Grist Mill which is housed in the former Somerset County Jail, a wonderful example of Reuse.

Amber and co-owner, Michael Scholz, both native Mainers, studied the traditional stone milling process and traveled to 1-2014-04-11_10-38-44DSCN0062Austria to purchase the stone mill they use to produce their grains.

Amber graciously gave us a tour of the facility and explained the process and their philosophy to revive grain growing in Maine and the stone milling process.  They purchase their grains from a co-operative they helped establish of local farmers.
Maine Grains products are available in Whole Foods Stores from New York to New England and at co-op and specialty product stores throughout the region.  I have been using the Sifted Wheat in place of white flour in the baked goods which I serve in Victorian by the Sea B&B in Lincolnville.  In Sifted Wheat, the whole wheat flour is sifted to remove the largest pieces of bran, producing a flour with an improved nutritional content.  And, the taste and texture are wonderful!
I also serve an oatmeal made from Maine Grains Cracked Oats.  Amber suggested I use any recipe for Steel Cut Oatmeal and the one that I found on the Food Network website, courtesy of Alton Brown, makes the best oatmeal I have ever tasted.  I doubled the recipe and found that the cooked oatmeal keeps very well for several days if refrigerated and then reheated.  Click here for the recipe and enjoy!