As part of our Rent and Relief GoFundMe fundraising campaign for the Durham Farmers Market (www.GoFundMe.com/DFMfund) – we want to share with you some of the stories of our community members!
Today we are psyched to introduce you to Red Tail Grains!
Danny Cowan and George Allen are co-owners of Red Tail Grains. Danny worked on mixed vegetable farms from 2009-2014. He worked for two seasons at Maple Springs Gardens in Cedar Grove, NC. He also has a background in baking, running Three Bellows Bakery, a small wood-fired bakery in Pittsboro. He apprenticed with Rob and Monica Segovia Welsh of Chicken Bridge Bakery and thinks a lot about how grain affects bread.
George co-owned and operated Red Tail Farm, a mixed vegetable farm, in 2011-2013. Since then, in addition to the farm, he has worked professionally as a car mechanic and carpenter. George maintains and repairs all of the equipment on the farm.
Our growing practices align closely with organic growing methods and in many cases exceed organic standards. Our number one priority is to produce a high quality grain through the cultivation of healthy soils. Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are never used on the soils we grow on. Soil fertility is developed through the use of cover crops, manures, compost, and organic fertilizers. Currently we rotate winter cereals, red clover, buckwheat, millet, sunflowers, soybeans, cowpeas, and corn. We are striving towards reducing the amount of mechanical tillage we now rely upon in order to build soil organic matter, but it is quite difficult without the use of herbicides.
As we gain experience and learn from others, we hope to continue developing a holistic system that harbors diversity and accumulates organic matter. Milling flour in this way is simple and elegant: two granite stones sheer and crush the grain into an exceptional flour that contains all of the natural, vitamin-rich oils from the germ (or embryo) of the grain. Most store-bought flours are produced using roller mills, which typically remove the germ from the grain to increase shelf-life for mass markets, but which also removes vital nutrients, and delicious flavors and aromas.
Please consider donating today to support the Durham Farmers’ Market: www.GoFundMe.com/DFMfund