We make a LOT of bread, but that's not why we're here.
We are here because we dig our community--the people, the food, the music, the land, the water... the whole big thing of it.
Here at the bakery we've collected a team of people dedicated to serving our community with our food work. We think of real bread as one small part of the big picture, the picture of a better way of living with each other and with our place and planet. OK.. sounds like a little much, but it's true. Not joking. That's why we're here!
What am I talking about? We think bread can bring people together—in the growing of the grain, in the milling, in the baking, and of course, in the eating and sharing. We make our loaves as beautiful as we can so that when you see them you will feel the love. We make them as right as we can to make it easier for all of us to do what we have to do. These are practical matters.
In an argument with your neighbor? Try bringing a loaf of bread. Sit down. Have a conversation. Feel like some change needs to happen? Cement your resolve with a loaf shared. Wondering whether small things make a difference? Notice the people in your community who live by bread—your bakers, your millers, your farmers—and see that your loaf makes that possible. Concerned about agriculture and food safety? Think about the fields that are now organic and carefully tended to grow the grain that is your bread. Troubled by the thousands of miles most of your food travels before it reaches your table? Grab a bike and visit the farm, the mill, and the bakery, all in a few hours. It’s a short trip.
And of course, it’s not all baking.
Here are some examples of what we do when we're not at the oven:
BREAK BREAD, NOT SHALE
Here in the Finger Lakes, much of our struggle has focused on preventing the exploitation of shale gas. A few years ago, on January 23, 2012, all of us--farmer, miller, and baker--went to Albany with Sandra Steingraber and thousands of others to protest shale gas exploitation. Click here for a pdf of the full speech.
Way back in 2011, you will remember, Wall Street was rocked by the OCCUPY movement. It was a local protest, but it addressed global issues of inequality around the world. We know it wasn’t perfect, but we were moved by the protest and the occupation--moved by the courage of the protesters, their values, and their articulation.
When we realized that they would be there, surrounded by police cordon, for many days, we decided to help out as best we could. We joined together with what seemed like every food producer and farmer in the Finger Lakes to fill a truck with food and drive it down to the Occupy kitchens.
As a bakery, we were barely off the ground, but it helped us to see how we might be useful. It was inspiring.
That action brought us threatening phone calls, spam attacks, and a deep sense of just how far the long arm of silence would reach. The conservative blogosphere had a good time with us. We even turned up in a high-school level quiz in Virginia (go figure!). We were sure, then and now, that we were doing the right thing.
OTHER SHALE GAS PROTESTS
We've been involved in many shale-gas protests, and our arrest record is getting pretty long. For the past couple of years, Stef has been arrested protesting the Crestwood Gas Compression Station on Seneca Lake. He does this as Santa Claus!
We work with local food pantries and kitchens to get good food to folks who can't afford it. This is an ongoing concern for us. If you run a food pantry and you are interested in working with us, please be in touch. We also donate bread, breadshares, and baking classes to community projects we support: Groundswell, Tompkins County Worker's Center, Amnesty International, Trumansburg Public Library, and others.