"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 26 March 2012

Stone Ground Flour

A couple of weeks ago I finally made it to Eureka Mills during their working hours.  Being roughly 20 kms from the farm, I am delighted at the convenience of their mill.  They are the only flour millers in South Africa who grind their flour in the traditional manner using stone wheels.  And they do not add anything to their flour by way of preservatives or chemicals.
As they state on their webpage:

"Who would farm with old methods of crop rotation and gentle aerating of the soil?  Who would start a slower grinding stone mill.  Who would bake in a stone oven to make bread in the slow time honoured manner to extract maximum benefit out of the efforts of mother nature?  Who would buy these products even if they seem so much more expensive and somethimes "inconvenient"?

The answer is enlightened farmers, millers and consumers."

As you enter their mill there are huge bags of waste lining the side of their forecourt.  This "waste" is sold to farmers to feed their livestock.
Bags of chaff and bran, destined for the
local farmers livestock
Inside the mill it is understandably dusty, and very noisy - the friendly workers are employed 5 days a week, so every minute of those days the mill is pumping out flour.
The two grinding wheels are situated behind
the safety guard
Can you see the two wheels on the machine?  It's hard to believe that they are able to produce the quantity of flour that they do, merely by grinding grain between tow stones...
Detail of the two stone wheels in action
This is a close-up of one of the wheels they no longer use - they have made a garden feature out of it - clever appropriate recycling :)
I came away with enough flour to bake my own bread, give to DD and also as a gift forour town neighbour for looking after our house whilst we were away.
They even gave me a brochure that I could scan so that you, too, could read all about them :)
Front and back detail of the Eureka Mills flyer

For those readers who do not live near Swellendam, but who would like to purchase the best flour available in this country, they have a list on their website detailing the retail outlets where you should be able to find Eureka Mills flour.  For those who who do not reside in this country and are unable to purchase preservative and chemical free flour, Eureka Mills are even able to offer export of their flour overseas.

In addition, on their website they also provide a couple of recipes using their flour - how neat is that :)  Now - all I need are some sunny days so I can use their flour to make a loaf or two or more of my Ultimate Solar Oven Bread :)

Friendly, helpful millers who make a visit to their mill an occasion and a pleasure - just like visiting your corner store in the old days.  S'funny how much the personal touch can influence one, and encourage one to buy more LOL


Sue said...

I wish there were more small operations like this mill in existence. So many people go for price over quality. I'd rather eat LESS and have a better quality. Glad you are able to buy from someone so close to you.
Have a wonderful week....hope you get the sun to do some baking!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I think one of the most important things we can do is shop local. What an impact that can have.

Chants Cottage said...

One of the few things that I can think of that realistically we're not really going to be able to produce ourselves. I buy organic flour in huge sacks to make bread from our local whole food shop but how fantastic to be able to visit the mill and buy direct!! I am quite intrigued by this whole solar oven thing though I suspect it probably only works as an oven as such in much hotter climates than ours, but I know people do use them for drying / preserving food over here...

Dani said...

Sue - I couldn't agree more. Bring back the personal touch also, and do away with the ruddy great impersonal malls.

We have rain in the forecast, but any opportunity I get I have to try LOL

Dani said...

Jane - Couldn't agree more. And, apart from using less fuel do fulfill our household needs, in addition, can you imagine the upsurge in quality of life for all those neglected small town shop owners if we all did purchase locally?

Dani said...

CC - I have read, and seen evidence, of people successfully using their solar oven on a sunny day with snow thick on the ground :)

ezrablu said...

Dani, this is such a wonderful post! You really are so lucky to live close enough to this mill to buy from there. I haven't seen anything like this anywhere near where I live here in Wisconsin. Now I'm going to have to research and find out if there is...lucky you!

Dani said...

Ezra - I'm sure that the Amish must grind their own flour? Why not ask them if they know of a supplier near you :)

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

What a brilliant mill to have relatively nearby! Looking forward to seeing your solar oven baking up a nice artisan loaf :)

Dani said...

Tanya - T'is brilliant! Reckon you may have to wait a while for a pic of that loaf though, we're heading for autumn, and my town garden doesn't get enough sun to use the solar oven...(sob!)