What’s it take to make a 30 Mile Meal? Plenty of partners and as the former executive director of ACEnet, June Holley, would say, “lots of network weaving.” A tasty example of this ‘tapestry of local’ is the recent addition of spelt flour to pizzas made by John Gutekanst’s Avalanche Pizza.
In his blog, Pizza Goon, John tells the story of discovering locally grown spelt and Brandon Jaeger during a 2009 visit to the farm of Joe Hirshberger in Chesterhill. Brandon and Michelle Ajamian (owners of the Shagbark Seed & Mill Company) had asked Hirshberger, an Amish farmer, to grow spelt for them. SS&MC is an offshoot of the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative that works with regional small-to-mid-sized farms to produce, process, market, and distribute fresh, whole, sustainably-grown staple foods.
Whenever possible, Gutekanst uses locally grown ingredients in his pizza-making and like other 30 Mile Meal champions, showcases the farms and farmers that provide them. A recent series of Avalanche ads puts the faces to the food – Michelle, Brandon and spelt. They also remind us that as we nourish our bellies, we can also nourish the local foods community.