What is Bread For Life?
Bread for Life is a CIC Community Interest Company.
Our aim is simple. We grow grains and with the profits we help those living on the “bread line” around the world and locally.
Who do we help?
We support several voluntary organisations whose work makes a difference.
Soup Aid in Lewes, the Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais, Hand in Hand for Syria, homeless charities in Brighton, and community projects in London such as the Calthorpe project.
How can you help?
You can help by buying Hearth bread, pizzas and cakes because the Hearth uses Bread For Life flour.
We will soon be selling Bread For Life flour on-line and in Brighton. By making this choice you get more than the warm glow of philanthropy. Our bread and flour not only tastes great, they are better for you than modern GM variants, and the environment benefits.
Our old fashioned approach to farming, milling and baking is at the vanguard of a global movement aimed at re-examining the world’s relationship with grains. It is an approach championed by leading food writers, environmentalists, bakers and spiritual leaders; amongst them Michael Pollan, Graham Harvey, Felicity Lawrence, Satesh Kumar, Chad Robertson and Thich Nhat Hahn. We all seek a shift from the industrial GM approach to food production focussed on yield, shelf life speed and price, to a food system that values the environment, quality, taste and health.
We think it’s the future. We hope you do to.
I was very fortunate to grow up in rural Lincolnshire, where wheat fields stretch to the horizon. Fifty years ago I was free to roam a poetic countryside, always thrilled at nature’s bounty and even the giant combine harvesters.
In the intervening years I have seen wheat fields get even larger, as the wheat gets shorter – what used to tower over me now barely comes to my knees.
I have also been fortunate to meet many inspirational farmers and bakers, foremost amongst them John Letts, farmer and archeo- botanist, Dan Lepard, baker and food writer. In the early nineties Dan and I set up the first “artisan” bakeries in the UK, Dan at Baker and Spice, me at Carriages.
In 2012 Dan Lepard encouraged me to start baking again after a seven year fallow period in which I thatched ancient buildings with John Letts. John has been collecting ancient wheat varieties from around the world for over twenty years; three years ago John asked me to grow some of his heritage wheat. The final piece of the jigsaw was a chance meeting with local farmers Fred and Chris Wettern, who farm near Lewes in the South Downs National Park. They agreed to grow John’s heritage grain, which is stone milled at Offley Mill, and used at The Hearth in Lewes.
My life has also been influenced by some of the world’s foremost environmentalists, humanitarians and spiritual leaders. Vandana Shiva, Satesh Kumar, most notably Thich Nhat Hahn. His teaching emphasises ecology, compassion and mindfulness. The powerful metaphor of seed and bread, presented a path through which I could give to those less fortunate.