It's been an absolute pleasure to go on the journey that is Grown in Totnes over the last few years. The fun we had crowdfunding for the milling equipment (who knew porridge jousting was a thing); the laughter we've shared with volunteers at milling days; the delight of seeing our grains push up their shoots in farmers' fields; our own Spring watch; and to send our products to the shelves of our local shops, in bags adorned with our little oat logo, with a sense of sending your little one off to school for the first time. Oh, and there was proof in the form of puddings and pies, bread and oat risottos. There was lots and lots of proof.
And those big conversations we've had, about how we feed ourselves as a community, and for journalists, cooperatives and volunteers from all over the world to swing by Totnes just to join the conversation in person. Several years on, it seems the conversation has sprouted across the country and there is something of a renaissance of interest in grain, beyond the commodity. There's the UK Grain Lab & the Heritage Grain Alliance and farmers and bakers emailing us from the corners of the Isles. It's been an honour.
So what next? After a heartening response to our July meeting and months of work to hand over Grown in Totnes to new guardians, the newly forming Dartington Mill CiC made up of The Apricot Centre, The Almond Thief and Old Parsonage Farm will take GiT into its next incarnation.
The Dartington Mill CIC is relocating the operation to a combination of their existing premises to keep costs down and streamline the operation. They plan to restart milling in January 2019, and sales of flour and grains will be handled initially by The Apricot Centre who have existing sales channels (online web shop, market, delivery round) and delivery logistics capabilities. The venture brings together crops grown in Dartington that is then milled on-site and sold to The Almond Thief bakery for its bread, to the public and to retailers. From early spring customers will be able to buy a local sourdough loaf and local organic flour, with plans to add more grains in the medium to long-term.
Bob Mehew of the Apricot Centre will initially act as the contact point for Dartington Mill CiC. Bob will periodically email customers with news and developments, so to receive this communication please email Bob on firstname.lastname@example.org
Grown in Totnes, therefore, won't be sending out any more newsletters, however, there is always exciting news from Transition Town Totnes, so please do make sure you are signed up to the Transition Town Totnes Newsletter which follows the other great Transition Town Totnes projects and affiliate projects.
Holly, Emily and Bethan: the Grown in Totnes team