When most people are asked about the “Local Food Economy,” they talk about local farmers, food hubs and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). It’s not often that they think of a small manufacturer.
Jack Jenkins, manufacturer and marketer of Country Living Grain Mills, is a unique member of one of Washington’s local food economies. For nearly 40 years, Jack has manufactured and marketed grain mills that are hand-powered, bike-powered, horse-powered, wind-powered, water-powered, and even machine-powered! And he sells them around the world.
Let’s take a quick look at exactly how this works:
- The body of the mill is cast from recycled aircraft aluminum in Ferndale, WA (50 miles).
- The white food-grade powder coating is applied near Marysville, WA (20 miles).
- A foundry that casts some of the parts for the mill is also in Marysville.
- The grinding plates are cast in Spokane, WA (300 miles).
- The plates are further machined near Arlington, WA (15 miles).
- The packaging is manufactured in Seattle, WA (55 miles).
- All assembly is done in a shop located next to the house in which Jack lives (0 miles).
Buy a bag of organic wheat berries from Kevin Christenson at Fairhaven Organic Grain Mill (18 miles), where almost 100% of the wheat is grown by Washington farmers, and you have a functioning local – or at the very least, a regional – food economy!
(Full disclosure: Country Living Grain Mills is a sponsor of GoodFood World.)