You're watching Montezuma Local News. Watch all our stories at MontezumaLocal.NEWS. Download our podcasts, and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Send story ideas to Advertise with us:

Pueblo Seed and Food Co Bakehouse Bakes Local Grains in Cortez

May 12, 2024

Dan Hobbs and Nanna Meyer opened a new Bakehouse in Cortez last September to bring their locally grown grains and seeds to the community through delicious whole grains sourdough baked goods. At the farm only a few miles away in McElmo Canyon, Hobbs and Meyer experiment with drought-resistant seeds and grains from around the world to find the most hardy and nutritious seeds they can grow — and then mill and bake in the bakehouse. Find the tasty treats at Pueblo Seed and Food Co every Friday and Saturday. By Ilana Newman. This story is sponsored by Keesee Motors and Choice Building Supply.

Learn More...

Read the Full Transcript

Last September, Pueblo Seed and Food Co opened a brand new bake house in Cortez. Open only on Friday and Saturday, The Bake House serves a variety of bread products, milled and baked in-house, as well as soup, coffee, and a daily menu. Many of the grains and legumes used for the Bake House menu are grown only a few miles away in McElmo Canyon, where Pueblo Seed has been growing seeds and grains since they moved to Montezuma County from Pueblo in 2021, you're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Keesee Motors and Choice Building Supply. I'm Connor Shrieve.

We had been wholesaling for lots of years to Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers, places like that, and they were fine customers and paid their bills and, but we rarely had contact with any of our customers, and we just envisioned vertical integration. And so what, what I mean by that is growing, cleaning, milling, storing, baking, basically doing everything in house.

Dan Hobbes has been growing seeds and grains since 1996 when he had his first farm on the Pecos River in New Mexico. Then he relocated to Pueblo and grew chilies and other vegetables along with grains and corn for seeds. He became interested in heritage corn and moved their farm to McElmo Canyon to find a more secluded area where they could grow corn without worrying about cross pollination. In 2023, Pueblo Seed and Food Co received a fieldwork grant from the Lore Foundation to explore more unique heritage grains that might be more drought resistant.

We like learning about new plants every year. So we, last year with some support from the Lore Foundation on the Colorado Agriculture Water Alliance, we started sourcing some other lesser known grains, sorghums and millets and, you know, brought some stuff in from the Sahel region of Africa to look at. And so that process of learning about these new plants is just really fascinating. Some of them don't work and, but you don't know until you try. You can study all you want, but until you plant it and harvest it, you just don't know. And so the ones that do work, then there's this next challenge of moving into the kitchen and what do we do with this? Do people want to eat this? Does it taste good? Is it nutritious?

The other side of Pueblo Seed and Food Co is Nana Meyer, who grew up in Switzerland surrounded by grains like spelt and rye. Nana's background in sports nutrition inspired her to learn more about how to work with the grains that are grown on the Pueblo Seed Farm. She's a leading expert in the grain world and brings her expertise to the breads and pastries baked in the Bake House.

So taking it to the next level of processing these value added products, breads, porridges, cream of wheat, cookies became the obvious next step for us. And given that we just love to cook and eat and, you know, it was a pretty easy sell to ourselves. It's been a lot of work getting this bake house open, but also very satisfying. And that piece of just having direct contact with, with our customers is really fun and satisfying. And, you know, it's, the farming and the baking is extremely taxing work, but it just helps when you're getting good feedback from the community about what you're doing. And so there's a, there's a real personal satisfaction there

This year, Dan and Nana are excited about trying out new grains and legumes, like Blue Bear Durham, a Spanish lentil, a Moroccan garbanzo, fava beans, an Austrian winter pea, a purple Tibetan barley and more.

The environmental conditions of living in the semi arid environment have really pushed us in, in a certain direction. And because we're seed growers, you know, we can, we can really see what's ready for primetime. And so we have not used hybrid seeds in years, is we've sourced all open pollinated seeds and plants and we've done our own selections. And the ones that haven't performed well, we've let go of. So we're really, you know, on this, this continual search for things that are fast maturing, heat tolerant, and can handle some water stress. And, and so those, I would say besides the sort of flavor and nutrition are kind of the main things we're selecting for.

Pueblo Seed and Food Co. is open on Fridays and Saturdays on North Beach Street in Cortez. Stop by and enjoy delicious whole grain sourdough baked goods or a bowl of soup with grains and beans straight from McElmo Canyon. Learn more about this story and others at MontezumaLocal.News. Thanks for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Connor Shrieve.


Copyright © Local News Network Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy