According to the event organizers:
“New York’s first seeds of grain were sown on Long Island in 1678 and these golden fields soon created an iconic breadbasket stretching all the way to Western New York. It may be hard to believe today, but the Empire State, which is known throughout the world for its maple syrup, apples, dairies and wineries, was also once one of the top grain producers in the country. In the mid-1800s, dehydrated soils, pest invasion, and transportation improvements, contributed to its demise.
Grain production is making a remarkable comeback here in New York thanks to a number of efforts encouraging the use of locally-grown grain. One important player has been GrowNYC. In an effort to integrate local grains at their farmers markets, GrowNYC now requires bakers to source 15% of their grains locally. Knowledge on local grains continues to spread and bakers such as Brooklyn-based Bien Cuit have committed to working with grain purveyors upstate. Additionally, since Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has taken office, craft beverage laws have been amended and new laws have been enacted to encourage value-added products to be made from grains produced or processed in New York.”