The Greenmarket Regional Grains Project is a program of GrowNYC
"It all starts with the choice of grain,
which is first a question of place and time."
-- Karen Hess, A Century of Change in the American Loaf

The Greenmarket Regional Grains Project is pioneering the new frontier in local food: grains. With our partners, we're building the marketplace for grains grown and milled in the Northeast. We are educating and connecting growers, processors, bakers and chefs -- sparking a rise in demand for local grains while helping ensure the crop supply and processing infrastructure   are there to meet that demand. The evidence is clear: Regional grains have arrived. 

The Greenmarket Regional Grains Project and the Grainstand are programs of GrowNYC, the sustainability resource for New Yorkers: providing free tools and services anyone can use in order to improve our City and environment. More gardens, Greenmarkets, more recycling, and education for all.  Learn more at
Upcoming Market Dates
The Grainstand  continues its weekly presence at  GrowNYC's Union Square Greenmarket on  Wednesdays  and  Saturdays.    We're taking a brief break from our rotating stand, but we'll be back in September!

#drinklocal  : Beer & Spirits of New York  pop-ups continue at Union Square Wednesdays and Fridays. You can stay current with pop-up news at  and explore what New York State craft beverage producers have to offer at the following locations:

Grainstand and Beer & Spirits Pop-up Locations:
Wednesday, July 25th Union Square Breuckelen Distilling
Saturday, July 28th Union Square Van Brunt Stillhouse
Wednesday, August 1st Union Square Prohibition Distillery
Saturday, August 4th Union Square Hillrock Farm Distillry
Wednesday, August 8th Union Square Breuckelen Distilling
Saturday, August 11th Union Square Hudson Valley Distilling
Wednesday, August 15th Union Square Breuckelen Distilling
Saturday, August 18th Union Square Harvest Spirits

Pre-ordered bulk bags are available at the Union Square Greenmarket every Wednesday and Saturday.  Check availability and pricing here .  To place an order or if you'd like more information, please email us. Wholesale orders of $250 or more can be delivered through Greenmarket Co. , GrowNYC's wholesale distribution program. 
News and Events
Maine Kneading Conference July 26th-28th

Brooklyn baker, Sarah Owens (at left), will keynote the Maine Grains Alliance 's 2018 Kneading Conference , an annual gathering of farmers, millers, bakers, maltsters, researchers, and grain enthusiasts from around the world for two days of intensive baking workshops, wood-fired oven building workshops, and discussions about grain growing and running grain businesses. Attendees participate in hands-on workshops, live demonstrations, lectures, panel discussions, field trips and more. Click here to sign up and learn more!
Global Grains: The 1st Annual Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems Conference

A Dispatch from GRGP Sales and Operations Manger Henry Blair

Last month I had the opportunity to represent GrowNYC and the Regional Grains Project at the 1st International Conference of Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems in Bologna, Italy. The conference was organized by researchers at the University of Bologna, Kamut International and IFOAM to bring together scientists and practitioners in the ancient and landrace wheat field. Experts shared research, perspectives and future goals of a healthy grain system, and its impact on ecological and human health. The conference spanned three days and hosted 125 delegates from 24 countries. Discussions ranged from breeding and variety selection, to nutrition and digestibility, to market outlooks and opportunities for growth.  

Growers in the country of Georgia, the birthplace of modern wheat and endemic home to over a dozen wheat species, talked about the expression of cultural identity through the restoration of varieties nearly lost during Soviet occupation. Martin Wolfe of Coventry University inspired his audience as he described the establishment of a wheat population of over 200 varieties in an agroforestry system in the UK. Those yields can be found in the delectable baked goods of another presenter, Kimberly Bell at Small Food Bakery in Nottingham. 

Check out the talks here And don't miss Henry's talk here !
On day 3 the group traveled to Podere Santa Croce (at right), a biodynamic farm on the outskirts of Bologna, to check on the progress of seed samples attendees had mailed to conference organizers the previous fall. Grain nerds from across the globe were darting around from test plot to test plot with maps, pointing out varieties they had heard of and comparing notes on how their seed submissions were coming along.

The value in connecting with folks doing similar work in other regions around the world was immeasurable for the Grains Project. We are proud to stand among such a culturally diverse mix of stakeholders along the whole value chain, all presenting work that's moving the world towards an alternative grain system founded on ecological and human well-being. We are constantly working towards a thriving regional grains economy in the Northeast. To see similar work happening continents away reaffirms the value of staple crops in discussions of healthy food systems. A rich community of researchers, breeders, farmers, millers, bakers and consumers is establishing a robust alternative to the industrial system and the outlook is profound.
Featured Innovator:
Amber Lambke of Maine Grains
Amber Lambke, co-founder and CEO of Maine Grains and one of the leaders in the movement for restoring local grain, started out on a completely different career trajectory. Amber holds a masters in Communication Disorders and had established herself in the field when her family moved out to Skowhegan, ME. She started volunteering in the community. Amber learned that Skowhegan had lost its woolen and shoe businesses and was looking for ways to rehabilitate its downtown while showcasing the industries of the area. As the Greenmarket Regional Grains Project was taking shape down the coast, a cooperative effort between Maine's grain farmers and a baking-oven mason called Maine Wood Heat Co. was evolving into a much larger movement. That movement ultimately grew into the amazing Maine Grain Alliance , a non-profit organization seeking to preserve and promote local grain traditions. Amber took on a part time position as the MGA’s Executive Director. In 2007 the Alliance held its first Kneading Conference, an intensive two-day event attracting bakers and grain enthusiasts world-wide. The event wraps up with a free Artisan Bread Fair  offering wood-fired oven demonstrations, artisan bread samplings, and opportunities to talk with professional bakers and explore the best books, tools, and delicious accoutrements to whole grain and conventional bread baking.

As time went on, the Alliance realized that in order to achieve their mission of fostering a sustainable regional grain market central Maine needed adequate processing infrastructure to make it worthwhile for farmers in the central and northern regions of the state to invest in the local grain movement . This led to the foundation of Maine Grains gristmill in 2012, a mill put together in Skowhegan’s former jailhouse whose Maine grown oats, flour, and grain you can find at the Grainstand . Building a mill is an incredibly risky and capital intensive venture but, as is often the case with developments within regional grain infrastructure, the holes filled by Maine Grains continue to pay dividends. The mill has doubled its capacity several times in the past six years, greatly expanded its oat processing infrastructure, and, as Amber explains, “an entire ecosystem has built itself around the mill." Beyond the production of delicious food-grade grains, the mill also makes animal feed, compost that has proven beneficial for the area’s fields and even commercial mushroom cultivation. Recently Maine Grains purchased pearling equipment to make spelt farro. Soon the machine will be pearling barley too!

Amber recently attended the Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems Conference in Bologna. She found the global network of people building regional grains economies invigorating, especially the land in Bologna sown with hundreds of wheat varieties submitted by conference participants. “We’re all talking about the same things, trying to bolster regional grain economies as a relevant and necessary aspect of community life and sustainability” she said.
Featured Grain: Sirvinta Wheat
The historic grist mill at Maine Grains in Skowhegan.
Richard Roberts, the director of the Maine Grain Alliance’s Heritage Seed Restoration Project , joined the small troupe of northeastern grain innovators to Bologna. The Restoration Project works to preserve and restore endangered wheat varieties from around the world by propagating and developing them to grow in Maine’s climate. It's similar to the work Eli Rogosa is doing in Massachusetts, which we spotlighted in our April newsletter. Sirvinta is the first of hopefully many varieties the project will be bringing to the plate, an Estonian heritage wheat with a sweet malty taste and an all-purpose range protein.
Heritage Chocolate Chip Cookies
This adaptation of the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking works great to showcase the flavors of the Grains Project's many heritage wheat flours! Try it with Sirvinta, Oland, and Red Fife!

Minutes to Prepare:  15
Minutes to Cook:  10
Number of Servings:  36

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c + 1 T heritage grain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)

Cream butter & sugars. Add egg & vanilla, mix well.
Add flour, salt, soda & mix well. Add pecans & Chips and stir well.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake at 375F for 10 mins.

Make about 3 dozen.

Number of Servings: 36

Itching to try the recipe? Share a picture of your local bake to our Facebook page and get a free 2lb bag of flour as a reward!
The Greenmarket Regional Grains Project is more committed than ever to building a resilient regional food system through linking urban and rural communities.

Make donations to GrowNYC  here

Many thanks!

By shopping at your neighborhood Greenmarket farmers market, you are directly supporting small family farms and ensuring continued access to fresh local food for all New Yorkers. 

Greenmarket is a program of  GrowNYC , a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Learn more about GrowNYC's community gardens, recycling and hands-on education programs and make a donation to support small family farms here .
Project Farmhouse , GrowNYC’s sustainability center and events space, is available for rent for your next party, meeting, or conference.
This unique space, just steps from our iconic Union Square Greenmarket, features a projection wall and sound system, a Boffi Soho kitchen, hydroponic living wall, and more. You can also feel good knowing your rental fee will support public programming focused on the environment and the good food movement.
Project Farmhouse encompasses 3,500 square feet, and it can host 240 people for a cocktail party, or 100 people for a sit-down affair.
Click here  to book Project Farmhouse.
Would you prefer to receive this newsletter in Spanish? Greenmarket is happy to announce that the Greenmarket Dirt is now available en español! Just visit our sign up page and click GMKT - Greenmarket - Spanish to receive it. 
GrowNYC/Greenmarket | 212-788-7900 |