Grains News & Events



From the latest newsletter:

September, 2019 - Annual Grains Field Trip

The story of grain from farm, to mill, to bakery

Amid the chaos of summer harvests, GrowNYC's Grains team visited Lani's Farm, Castle Valley Mill, and Lost Bread Co.

Lani's Farm

While touring Lani’s in Bordentown, NJ, we learned about the unique way the farm uses rotational cropping. Dusan, the farm manager, explained that they never grow the same crop in the same place twice. This helps ensure the utmost soil health, combats weed pressure, and deters pests. Adding small grains to their mostly vegetable operation has been a big part of this strategy in the last few years.

Rye, barley, wheat, and corn are all integral as rotational crops, but they also have a second use in Lani’s expanding test kitchen. You might have noticed the milled wheat and corn for sale at the stand (milled by their neighbors at Castle Valley Mill), as well as the baked goods they now sell using their own wheat and corn flours.

Growing grains has allowed Lani's to expand their menu of value added products as they diversify their farm business. Keep a look out for more prepared foods at Lani’s stand in the future! (Their most recent addition being dumplings. Yum!)

Castle Valley Mill

Our next stop was an idyllic spot along the Neshaminy Creek in Bucks County, PA. This historic property has been a mill site since the 1700’s.

Current owner Mark Fischer told us an incredible story about his grandfather, an expert miller who bought the property and stuffed the barns with antiquated equipment he purchased as mills in the region gradually shut down. At a moment when Mark was assessing his professional career, he cleaned out the dilapidated barn only to find that it still contained all of the equipment necessary to run a fully functioning mill. Mark restored the mill, using the skills he gained as an engineer.

A definite highlight of the trip was watching the antique mills in operation, with the belts turning as the drive train powered each piece of equipment, everything working in synchronicity. At one point during the tour, Mark had to leave. He could tell something had changed in the mill just by the sound and vibration.

Using all local wheat, corn, and oats, Castle Valley produces freshly ground grain that maintains all of the nutritional benefits of the whole grain that commodity flours have stripped away. 

Newsletter Archive

Lost Bread Co.

Our last stop was at Lost Bread Co. in Philadelphia. By this point in the day, we were famished. Thankfully we were greeted by Alex Bois and his crew with warmth and hospitality. They immediately offered us their famous garlicky focaccia with local sunflower oil for dipping. Later we sat down with a beautiful spread of foraged mushrooms, ratatouille, and, of course, lots of bread.

Lost Bread Co., a new addition to the Greenmarket community, was founded on the principle of using local grain. Alex is a highly adaptable baker, a necessary quality, he explains, in a climate changing world. He understands the connection between the choice of ingredients and the impact on farms and families. Alex discussed his true goal in all of this to not only feed people, but also nourish communities with affordable and nutritionally dense breads.

Grainstand staff decided Alex's enthusiasm was another highlight of the trip, "It's inspiring to see people who have such a deep commitment to what they are doing, and are willing to try things and learn."

Read the rest of this newsletter here.


The Grainstand

Our retail booth for local grains, flours and beans

Union Square Greenmarket, Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Check here for the weekly pop-up schedule and here for our rotating craft beverage guests!


Articles that both inform and shed light on our work.

September 2019
WBUR: Back to the Grind (Stone): A Grain Revival Rises in New England

July 2019
Culinary Epicenter: Bread & Beer: Women Leaders in the Slow Grains Movement

June 2019
Smart Brief: Biodiversity Plays a Key Role in the Future of Food

March 2019
Edible Manhattan: The Standard East Village is Making Some of the Very Best Bread in New York

December 2018
Edible Manhattan: The Regional Grains Taking New York's Best Bread to the Next Level

April 2018
The New Food Economy: Rural Kansas is Dying, I Drove 1,800 Miles to Find Out Why

 December 2017
Bloomberg Pursuits: Bread is the Dish of the Year

December 2017
Civil Eats: Grain Mills Can Be Cornerstones of Local Food Economies

November 2017
Grace Links: Local Grains and the Locavore's Changing Landscape

November 2017
Edible BrooklynWhat to Make With New York's Regional Grains

Press Archive



The Story Behind Breuckelen Distilling's NY-Grown Single Malt Whiskey

Learn how one farmer's "bad crop" became a distiller's dream ingredient, thanks to masterminds Brad Estabrooke of Breuckelen Distilling, grain farmer Thor Oechsner, and maltsters Andrea and Christian Stanley of Valley Malt.

​During National Latinx Heritage Month in the United States we recognize the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic Americans to the country's history, heritage, and culture. Learn more from GrowNYC's FARMroots Beginning Farmer Program Manager, Gabriela Pereyra. 

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