My Great Big Wheat Order

You know that 500 pounds of wheat I had ordered?  I picked it up yesterday.  (And by picked it up, I literally mean that I picked-it-up.   Lifted it.  Fifty pounds at a time.  Over and over.)

Actually…I picked up 1,000 pounds of wheat because my friend Anne went with me and she was also crazy enough to have ordered ten – 50 pound bags of wheat.

So there we were, heaving twenty – 50 pound bags of wheat into the back of my husband’s truck.  We looked really cute.  I’m sorry you missed it.

Matt and the boys weren’t home when we got back, so Anne and I got to lift them all over again while we carried them into our house (and then into her house). 

bagsofwheatsmHere are all twenty bags stacked in the back of the truck.

I had so much fun interviewing myself back on this post, I thought I’d interview myself again, based on any questions you might have concerning my 500 pounds of wheat:

Me:  Wow, Laura.  500 pounds of wheat?  Are you crazy?

Me again:  Do you even have to ask?

Me:  Why did you order 500 pounds of wheat?

Me again:  Because I heard of a local gal ordering a big truck load of Wheat Montana.  Apparently if you get enough people together to divide a truck load of their wheat, you can save a bunch of money.  I usually order my wheat from Azure Standard, but sometimes it doesn’t come in.  I never like running low on wheat.  It’s not like I can just run to the store and get more, you know?  So I ordered…a lot.

Me:  So, what in the world are you going to do with all that wheat?

Me again:  I grind my own flour and make from scratch all of our bread, tortillas, pancakes, waffles, bagels, cookies, brownies, quick breads and anything else that requires flour.  I LOVE baking with freshly ground flour.  It tastes incredible and is SO much healthier for us.

Me:  How long will 500 pounds of wheat last you?

Me again:  I’m thinking it should last about one year.  I ordered 10 bags based on the fact that we go through almost 50 pounds each month. 

Me:  You go through almost 50 pounds of wheat in a MONTH?????

Me again:  Well, there are six in our family.  Five out of six are male.  Four out of six eat like grown men.  Plus, we have a LOT of company.  Plus, I love to bake for others.  Plus, we almost never buy any grain products from the store.   Plus, no…that’s all.

Me:  Will the wheat keep that long, or are you afraid it will go bad?  Where are you storing it?

Me again:  Wheat will keep for YEARS.  As long as I keep it dry, it’ll be fine.  I’m keeping it in a room that was once a garage, and is now just a storage room. 

bagsofwheat2sm See?  It doesn’t take up THAT much space.

Me:  Can we see the rest of your storage room?

Me again:  Are you kidding?  That room is by far the scariest in my house.  Nobody gets to go in there.  They’d lose all respect for me if they saw that mess.

Me:  How much did 500 pounds of wheat cost you?

Me again:  I paid $210 for all of it.  That makes it about 42 cents per pound.  A great price for organic wheat!

Me:  What kind of wheat did you get? 

Me again:  It came from Wheat Montana…and I ordered Hard White Wheat.  I LOVE that stuff!!

Me:  Why wasn’t Matt there to help you with all of that terrible, back breaking labor

Me again:  Oh, he offered.  He actually had the day off when I needed to go pick it up.  But, I really wanted him to have some time with the boys.  Plus, I hadn’t spent time with my friend Anne for months.  I kinda wanted the get-away.  Besides, I’m much stronger than I look.

Me:  No you’re not.

Me again:  Okay, I’m not.  But it really wasn’t that hard.  I got a good workout. 

Me:  Will you keep us posted on how long the wheat lasts you and what all you’re making with it?

Me again:  I’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know.

Speaking of which…what else would you like to know?
 

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Comments

  1. Kris Mays says

    Well, you answered my burning question -how much. Good to know. A few bucks cheaper per 50 lb. than Azure. It all adds up!

    Another question I had: Did they deliver it in their truck? Or did someone have to trek up there a get it?

    Kris

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    My understanding is that Wheat Montana delivered a huge truck load to the lady who was in charge of the order. There were (I believe) 70 of us who were a part of this truck load order. Anyway, they delivered to her, and we all had three days in which to pick it up. So, as long as you meet Wheat MOntana’s quota, they’ll deliver!

    [Reply]

    elaine Reply:

    Wow – you are really fortunate. We always had to help unload the semi-tractor trailor that was packed to the gills with really heavy stuff!

    [Reply]

  2. elaine says

    Totally agree with Amy (Finer Things) – you are cracking me up!!

    Reminds me of the time I went to pick up a co-op order of about 20 – 6 gallon (50#) buckets in my station wagon. It never occurred to me to calculate the weight of that! The car was barely off the ground and the tires were *bulging*. My husband was horrified when I got home – and amazed that I hadn’t popped all of the tires! It’s funny now. :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yeah, I was trying to figure out how to get it all in my van, then Matt said, “Um, why don’t you just take the truck? It’s MADE for things like this.”

    Oh, duh. :)

    [Reply]

    elaine Reply:

    At least you were smart enough to think about it beforehand! We didn’t have anything bigger or heavier but I would have felt smarter if I had at least considered what all of that weighed! :)
    And, you probably already know this and have a plan – but I recommend using your wonderfully cold winter to freeze the bags to kill any little buggies or eggs of buggies that might be hiding if you’re not going to put it in buckets with dry ice.

    [Reply]

  3. says

    WOW!! Thanks for the picture. That is a great deal. I wish I could make my food from scratch like you. Trouble is that the kids won’t eat it if I do. I’ve tried. :) But I keep trying. Maybe one of these days, I can be like you. :)

    [Reply]

    Bippy Reply:

    You know, kids eat what they are used to. I remember mine turning her nose up at a really beautiful filet mignon because she wanted a hamburger instead. I use the top-of-the-fridge method and have never had picky eater issues last more than a week, including kids who are super picky with their parents but will eat anything I put in front of them- from snails to crawfish to roasted crickets.

    I tell my kids a few things. One, I am not a short order cook. You eat what I put in front of you. Two, it will not always be tasty or to your liking. I cook food that’s healthy that I don’t like, myself, and I eat it anyway (I hate bell peppers and celery- which we have at least every other week because bell peppers are super healthy.). I let them know I’m not a hypocrite and sometimes you have to eat things that aren’t to your liking. Three, they don’t have to eat, but they have to stay at the table until their food is done. If they don’t finish it tonight, it’s what they get for breakfast the next day.

    Now, I’ve not done this with kids with food allergies (mild food allergies can turn into weird eating habits), or kids with type 1 diabetes. I am also pretty aware of what foods tend to be allergenic- if a kid freaks out any time I serve wheat, soy, eggs, or peanuts, then we get an allergy test done. But between the kids I babysat as a teenager, the 50+ cousins I helped raise, and my own children, I’ve never, ever had a kid stay a picky eater.

    Cook from scratch, make healthy food, and if they don’t eat it, well, hunger makes the best sauce.

    PS- Not a single kid I’ve raised with this method has gone hungry for more than two nights, and none of them had any negative permanent harm. Most of them, however, have developed an interest in cooking- since, if they are the ones that cooks dinner that night, they get to pick what’s on the table, AND they get out of doing dishes.

    [Reply]

  4. says

    I love your interview style! Very clever, and such a great interviewee (is that a word?).

    Have you ever heard of UNFI (United Foods International)? They use to go by Mountain People’s Warehouse. I’ve been a coop member for years and they have a much larger selection than Azure Standard (at least from the catalog a friend showed me). Anyway, we have to place an order of $1000, but you can buy bulk wheat there (including Wheat Montana) and get a variety of soft wheat berries, Prairie Gold (my favorite), and so many others along with all your other grocery items. Shipping is free. At least I’m not paying any. Email me if you would like more info for the future. I’d be glad to pass it along.

    I’d love to hear how you store your large quantity. I use buckets with gamma seals, but I don’t have THAT many!! Have fun!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, actually UNFI delivers to my town once a month…I’ve just been happier with Azure. It’s EASIER and has everything I need. I love knowing UNFI is around though if I’m ever in a pinch!

    [Reply]

  5. says

    We also buy wheat in bulk but I’ve never bought more than 150 pounds at time!

    You probably know this already, but it’s a good idea to freeze the wheat to be sure there are no insects in it. There’s no way I have room in my freezer, and in this cold weather, I just set the bags of wheat in an area that is covered but open to the outside temperatures. You can leave it there for 24 hours, then package it however you want (I like 5 lb buckets – get them free from restaurants). Works great!

    [Reply]

    Kelli Reply:

    Great idea! I had no idea you needed to freeze them, so thanks! I just got some gallon buckets from a local mcdonalds!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Do you just call a local restaurant to ask for buckets? or stop in?
    I just got my first 50# bag of wheat and I am trying to figure out
    how to store it! Was thinking of large bags in my freezer, but that
    seems like a lot of bags in freezer space. Any recommendations would
    be great!

    [Reply]

  6. says

    Wow. that is a …. lot of wheat….!!
    i’m still mulling over the impact of all this..

    - less fuel consumption on the road, buying in bulk for the year
    - less cost per pound
    - healthier because it’s freshly ground
    - mmm… how about ‘other grains’ (not suggesting an additional 100 pound purchase of spelt and buckwheat, however… haha!

    Give a happy day,
    Rose

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yeah, I’ll probably buy 5-10 pound bags of other grains throughout the year from Azure Standard. They have great quality and great variety!

    [Reply]

  7. says

    Oh, this reminds me of the annual Wheat MT orders we put in when I lived in TX. Now I’m in Japan. I paid .69 a lb for Prairie Gold from a local TX co-op and then $1 a lb to ship it to me in Japan….but it tastes really, really good….

    [Reply]

  8. says

    You rock! I’m searching for an old cupboard now that has one of those flour hoppers in it. That’s exactly what you need with all this flour. Sounds like you had alot of fun and your post had me laughing out loud. You go girl! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    [Reply]

  9. Jennifer says

    I love reading your blog Laura. You are so funny!

    Thanks for inspiring me to get a grain mill of my own and start baking with whole wheat flour.

    Although, I got my grain mill for christmas, then I found out I was pregnant and now I have a strange aversion to the smell of wheat. Is that bad timing or what?

    [Reply]

  10. Jessica says

    I’m so jealous of the price per pound. Right now, my only option is around .99 cents/lb. Yesterday, I bought two big sacks of flour from the store and SO wished that I could be grinding my own.

    [Reply]

  11. Dawn says

    That’s a LOT of wheat! I purchased it once in bags and it got wormy. Never again! I get it in buckets and seal with gamma lids now. Have you ever had bugs in your grain? Maybe because you have colder temps. you can store without this problem. (I assume your storage room is VERY cold right now).

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve never had trouble with bugs and it is FREEZING in my storage room right now (which is my biggest excuse for why it’s so messy — just open the door, throw things in and run away!)!! My bigger fear is mice. I’ll try to get some big buckets from our grocery store/bakery once it gets warmer.

    [Reply]

  12. sammie says

    I LOVE Wheat MT products. And I am lucky enough to get to go to the grocery store just down the block to buy it when ever I run out!! If you ever get the chance, you have to stop at the main store outside Three Forks, MT for the best sandwiches in the world!!

    [Reply]

  13. Nora says

    Is there a way that others can find out if there is a co-op like of the Montana Wheat you just ordered from? We are pretty new in our area and have no idea if there are coops around here. Any ideas on how to find out?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    There is a distributor locator here: http://www.wheatmontana.com/dealer.php, but I’m not sure how helpful that will be. I think all you can really do is just ask around as you meet others who grind their own flour. That’s what I’ve done…just put feelers out there to people!

    [Reply]

    Nora Reply:

    Thanks so much. I found one that is not far from our home. Now to look and see how well the kitchenaid grain mill works. Does anyone have experience with the kitchenaid grain mill attachment?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Funny that you asked about the kitchen aid mill…if you scroll down just a bit and read the comment below from Darcy, she mentions it! I’m sure if you want to ask her specific questions about it, she’d be happy to help. Just click on the “reply” link under her comment and your comment will go to her email!

    Nora Reply:

    Thanks so much.

  14. Darcy says

    What grinder do you use? How long does it take to grind up enough flour for a batch of bread? How loud is it?

    We use spelt flour and I got the grain mill attachment for my KA and bought the spelt berries as it was a lot cheaper, but it took hours to grind enough just for one batch of bread and it was so loud! With a family of 10, I need to find ways to save money wherever I can.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I have a Nutrimill and LOVE it. It takes about 10 minutes (or less) to grind enough flour for a batch of bread (four loaves) and then some. It’s loud, but not bad at all. I wrote more about my grain mill here: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/grain-mills-pt-2-which-ones-do-i-recommend-where-should-you-buy-one

    [Reply]

    Nora Reply:

    How do you like your KitchenAid grain mill? Have you ever tried wheat berries?
    I have a kitchen aid. I am trying to decide if it is worth purchasing the attachment or to go with another grain mill. I am really hoping the kitchen aid will work, rather not add another kitchn appliance to our already full kitchen. LOL.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I have the KA attachment and a Wondermill. Love the wondermill for flours – I mostly use the KA attachment to make corn meal and steel cut oats.

    If you’re trying to mill flour with the KA, here’s a tip: Set the attachment to make a fairly coarse ‘meal’ first, then tighten things up and run that meal through a second time. We have found we get a much nicer, more flour-y product that way than we do if we start with whole berries and try to go straight to flour.

    The Wondermill, on the other hand, makes flour beautifully, and in very little time. Hope this helps!

    Laura at TenThingsFarm

    [Reply]

  15. Angie says

    I know this doesn’t have to do with wheat, but I’m anxiously awaiting your post on homemade mayo and ketchup! I’ve tried mayo several times, and had no success, so I hope that all changes soon!!! Your blog has such great info!!! :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ll do my best on those…but I’m still having a hard time perfecting those recipes. Those are tough ones!!

    [Reply]

  16. Susan says

    Is it Prairie Gold? I’m about to open my last (gasp!) 50lb bag o’ wheat and I’m really clueless about the types of wheat. All I know is that ANY of it is better tasting than store bought flour!
    And I live my Nutrimill, too!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yep, it’s Prairie Gold. LOVE that stuff! Here’s a post I wrote about different types of wheat: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/grain-mills-pt-3-what-grains-to-use-and-where-to-find-them

    [Reply]

  17. says

    The last line of your interview should of said. Can you tell us where we are holding this interview now?
    In my chiropractors office. So the real cost of my wheat was 260.00

    ahahaha..
    I go through a lot of wheat too. You have a great idea. If we didn’t have rats in our basement I would actually consider doing it myself..And of course I would need to buy a wheat grinder..
    But other than those 2 things, I think you are BRILLIANT!
    Organic Wheat..42 cents!

    [Reply]

  18. says

    Hello Laura,
    I am wondering how much wheat you grind on a daily basis… with all the business of boys… and home schooling… do you grind once a day or once a week… or what?? How do you keep your kitchen so clean (I have seen it on your blog) and how do you keep up with all the daily stuff plus all the grinding and baking/cooking???
    ~Cynthia

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just grind wheat as needed, turning it on to grind while I do dishes or something. If I don’t use all I’ve ground right away, I put it into the freezer to grab quickly another time.

    It REALLY isn’t any effort to grind flour. I pour it into a machine, plug it in, turn it on, walk away, come back 7-10 minutes later and turn it off. Easy as that!

    My kitchen is NOT always clean. Like right now for instance. :)

    [Reply]

  19. says

    Ha! Just found your blog – what a hoot :) I would love to order in bulk like this especially if it were Kamut Khorasan Wheat!! Our family loves it – and we go through so much flour, pasta etc that it would have to be way cheaper than the little bags! Just don’t know where we would EVER store it! Thanks for the funny post!

    [Reply]

  20. Jessica says

    I just made 2 loaves of bread tonight with flour from Wheat Montana, I believe it’s the prairie gold as well. Soo delicious! I don’t grind my own yet, but would like to some day! I love Wheat Montana flour and am happy when I see others enjoying it as well! I’m from Montana, so I’m proud of things that come from here!

    [Reply]

  21. Chris says

    I just discovered your blog and it’s lots of fun. I enjoy reading about people that will buy 10 times the amount of wheat at a crack (it makes me feel more normal ;)

    We visited the Wheat Montana store just west of Bozemon, MT last summer. It was really fun and they have the best cinnamon rolls ever. Wheat Montana is a great product, but it is not technically organic. It is free of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. They do use conventional fertilizers on it (they claim so they can control it better and not accidentally contaiminate stuff. I assert that they grow in where there are not much livestock to get manure from so they need to out of necessity.

    DH bought 50 lbs of wheat berries from a local farmer (about 10 miles from our house) for $8. We were not sure how it would work, but so far it has been very clean and made really nice flour.

    [Reply]

  22. says

    Hi-
    I love reading your blog and all the recipes esp!
    So, after reading your post about the wheat, I just felt that I should tell you that I HIGHLY recommend getting buckets with air tight lids-gamma lids- to put your wheat in. It will be a little investment at first, but you can use them each year. I have done a lot of home food storage and we had a major infestation of miller moths which are disgusting and can get through anything except cans and gamma lid sealed buckets- plastic bags, pasta boxes, even heat sealed mylar bags!! There are lots of sites where you can order buckets and lids, or possibly you can just order the lids and find buckets somewhere local. There are lots of online sites that sell them. But you really should do it because once you get those, they are extremely difficult to get rid of and are disgusting and a huge nuisance!! We had to throw out pounds and pounds of food because of those things and if even one of your bags has some, they will infect all the wheat and everything in your house- even spices.
    Just FYI!
    Thanks,

    Elisabeth

    [Reply]

  23. says

    I still have 300 pounds of wheat left from our HUGE order 8 years ago…yep, I’m admitting….8. :) My sis in love and I ordered an entire semi full from Montana Wheat to NC…the truck came 8 hours early and we were both 8 months pregnant…you should have seen us trying to unload that. Their contract says they won’t help you unload but our driver felt awfully guilty…hee hee..
    Anyhow, we freeze dried much of it, have kept it out of the NC humidity and it is still good (and it’s almost all gone…finally.) We will never order that much again, that’s for sure, but it sure is a funny memory moment for us both.

    [Reply]

  24. K Stokes says

    I agree with Elisabeth. Storing wheat in the bag is really not a good idea. It is very susceptible to pests (especially rodents). We had the miller problem and they multiply very QUICKLY and silently. We had to throw out all the food and even then they were difficult to get out of the pantry.

    Have fun milling!

    [Reply]

  25. Aimee says

    Wow! I never knew the extent of Wheat Montana’s notoriety. I live just 20 miles away from their corporate farm in Three Forks, MT. Our family loves to go to their deli which is really close to the farm itself. Thanks for supporting Montana agriculture, Laura.

    [Reply]

  26. Charlotte Moore says

    I love the Prairie Gold also. I am on my second 50 pound bag since I heard of it. I do keep all my grain in a bucket with a gamma lid. Also I freeze any left over flour I do not use. I was told to never leave it out or put it in the fridge. It loses it nutrients if not used or frozen.

    You have such a wonderful site with so much info and good recipes.

    GOD BLESS!!!

    [Reply]

  27. Stephanie says

    On our state organic coop you can get a 25lb bucket of hard white organic wheat berries for $13.75- which i think is a good deal because its already in a bucket, and there is no min. order. but hard white wheat is what i want? i quit making my own Whole Wheat bread, because we have hard red wheat and it makes loaves of bread like bricks. I REALLY want to get back ot making my own bread since even the Natures Own bread has chemicals (at least it doesnt have HFCS though). Not to mention every other kind of bread we get.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I really do recommend hard WHITE wheat. Same nutritional value as red, but MUCH lighter in texture and color, making your breads not seem so whole wheaty. We love hard white wheat!

    [Reply]

  28. Michelle says

    Hi! I love your website so much. It has so much inspiration and quality info, too. I checked out the Azure Standard site and love it, but they don’t deliver to TX. I’m mainly interested in organic produce for making my lo’s baby food. Do you know how I might find a similar company that delivers to TX? I’m just not typing in the right words to trigger Google. Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m not personally familiar with all the co-ops available, but if you read through the comments on this post: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/feeding-the-family-food-co-ops-and-resources you might be able to find someone who has offered an idea for your area.

    [Reply]

  29. Elisabeth says

    I probably drove by your wheat at one point. I live about 30 miles from Wheat Montana and drive between their fields whenever we go to Helena or other points north. :-)

    [Reply]

  30. Rachel says

    Laura,

    Do you get the buckets from the bakery at your local store and use the lids they provide? Or do you buy Gamma?? lids and put on the buckets. I just bought wheat and am concerned about bugs. I’m currently storing in some of those frosting buckets I got for a $1 (woo hoo) at Walmart.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I do just use the lids provided by the bakery. Hooray for your $1 buckets!

    [Reply]

  31. Roddy says

    Can you give us a real idea of just how much flour is made from a fifty pound sack of wheat weight wise? How much is waste?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Every pound of wheat makes about 1 1/2 cups of flour. I never have waste in my wheat bags, unless of course, you count the bag itself which doesn’t weigh much.

    [Reply]

  32. Beverly says

    I have some wheat I’ve had for probably 10 years in plastic storage bins, there is powder in the bottom of the bin, does that mean its buggy? I do not see any bugs or worms in the grain itself, just the powder. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I can’t say for sure, but I don’t know that it’s buggy. Maybe just a little wheat dust?

    [Reply]

  33. Angelia says

    Can you post on how you process the wheat to use for flour? I was talking to my husband, a hesitant person about this process but I wanted to know. I am really trying to eat well on a budget and I think this would be one way to do that. I am so looking forward to your up coming class!

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Here is a link with the info: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/category/grains-and-grain-mills

    [Reply]

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