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Special Edition - March 21, 2020

As COVID-19 has spread rapidly throughout the country, supermarket shelves that were once filled with an endless array of pasta, bread, and canned goods are often empty. Even as national supply chains are crinkling under demand and pressure, small mills across the country are cranking up production and delivery capabilities to meet the nation’s need for flour. Home baking is a highly valuable activity these days as a practical way to both relieve stress and share goodness with family members or roommates.

Outside the home, restaurants, bakeries, bars, breweries, and distilleries are working tirelessly to operate safely and efficiently in our new normal. Some businesses have closed for the time being, while others are piloting new and different takeout or delivery models. At the center of this crisis are small-scale farms who are integral to our food supply. And even as we face an uncertain financial future, we can take heart in knowing that our farmers and makers are nimble, continuing to find ways to feed us.

If there’s a silver lining to all of this, it’s the community action already taking place to support the independent businesses that anchor our communities. Individuals can continue to purchase food, beverages, or merchandise, donate to virtual tip jars to assist laid off employees, and buy gift certificates to redeem later. The James Beard Foundation has compiled a very helpful summary of actions and resources, with much contribution from Midwestern chefs. Each of us must also take a few minutes to call our local, state, and federal government officials to request financial assistance and other resources for small businesses and their employees. Not only must we take immediate steps to protect the livelihoods of farmers and others in the food industry, we must also demand that our elected officials take action to bolster local supply chains to ensure robust systems between our regional food producers, distributors, and eaters.

Below is a resource for locating flour, bread, produce, and other products (all grown, raised, or made in the Upper Midwest) and ways to support these producers and businesses.This is by no means a comprehensive list and the information contained in it will surely change as this situation evolves over the coming days and weeks. Please reply to this email to let us know what we’re missing! We will work to update this list throughout the pandemic. And before we dive in, here’s a guide to food safety during COVID-19 from Serious Eats.

Meadowlark Organics Pantry Boxes
Loaves of bread from Hewn

Upper Midwest mills and grain farms with online sales and nationwide shipping:

Baker’s Field Flour and Bread - Minneapolis, MN

Brian Severson Farms - Dwight, IL

Doubting Thomas Farms - Moorhead, MN

Funks Grove Heritage Fruit & Grains/Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup - Funks Grove, IL

Hazzard Free Farm - Pecatonica, IL

Janie's Mill - Ashkum, IL

Lonesome Stone Milling - Lone Rock, WI

Meadowlark Organics - Ridegway, WI - Monthly grain subscriptions coming soon. Sign up here.

Meuer Farm - Chilton, WI

Sunrise Flour Mill  - North Branch, MN

Upper Midwest bakeries that source grain from local farms and are offering delivery or curbside pickup:

Baker Miller - Chicago, IL

Brake Bread - St. Paul, MN

Hewn - Evanston, IL

Madison Sourdough - Madison, WI

Middle Brow Bungalow - Chicago, IL

Muddy Fork Farm and Bakery - Bloomington, IN

ORIGIN Breads - Madison, WI

Publican Quality Meats - Chicago, IL

Sun Street Breads - Minneapolis, MN

Brewery and Distillery Resources:

Illinois Craft Brewers Guild put together this list of IL breweries where you can purchase product online for curbside pickup, home delivery, or both. Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild put together this list of breweries offering to-go purchases.

We're still on the hunt for a repository of brewing and distilling resources in Wisconsin. Does anyone have a resource to share? If nothing exists, AGC will make it this week. 

The Craft Maltsters Guild has also compiled a series of resources for craft maltsters and other in the craft malt supply chain.

Other Opportunities to Support Local Farms and Businesses:


Chicago Farmers Market Collective has compiled an online resource to support local vendors through pick up locations, home delivery, and CSA options. Brian Severson Farms, Three Sisters Garden, pHlour Bakery, and Bungalow by Middle Brow are all offering grain-based products for sale through this platform. 

Contact Spence Farm (email to be added to an email list with pickup in Fairbury and delivery to spots in Chicago. Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks is another great option for home delivery in the Chicago area as is Local Foods. In Logan Square, Dill Pickle Co-op is open. And here’s a list of CSA subscriptions from the Logan Square Farmers Market that will begin in the next couple weeks. PrariErth Farm will have CSA boxes available for the Bloomington, Lincoln, Atlanta, and Springfield communities starting in May. And if you need some encouragement about the resiliency of local food systems, check out this great video that Katie Bishop from PrariErth posted a few days ago.


Head to this list to purchase directly from farmers and producers on the Minnesota Cooks website. There's also a survey if you are a Minnesotan farmer/producer and would like to be added to the list. 

The University of Minnesota Medical School Program in Health Disparities Research put together this extensive multilingual resource for the Twin Cities communities which includes information from the Minnesota Farmers’ Markets Association and a summary of the statuses of and ways to purchase from area food businesses

On the bright side: this frightening situation has bred meaningful new partnerships and opportunities including the launch of Minnesota Central Kitchen


Dane County Farmers Market and FairShare CSA Coalition have created a crowd-funding campaign to assist member farms and food producers whose income has been severely impacted due to the virus. Get more information and donate here. And get yourself signed up for a CSA!

Fondy Farmers Market has worked with vendors to establish a limited pre-order and pick-up system.

The Isthmus newspaper published a list on Thursday, March 19 of Madison-area restaurants offering home delivery and carry out.

AGC is partnering with bakers throughout the Upper Midwest to launch a “Neighbor Loaf” initiative supporting farmers, millers, and bakers, and to ensure that bread gets to people who need it. Madison Sourdough and ORIGIN Breads in Madison, WI have launched their order sites and other bakeries in the region will follow suit throughout the week. We’ll keep you in the loop!
Copyright © 2020 Artisan Grain Collaborative, All rights reserved.

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