February 17, 2023 – the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative (ASFC) and Route 9 Cooperative launched the second year of their North Central SARE grant at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) Conference.

The grant enables Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture program to work with four farmers from the Route 9 Cooperative and three local mills to develop value-added products, such as fine chestnut flour and pancake mix made from Grade B chestnuts. To support market research, the millers also distributed various flour types to bakers, chefs, and brewers to experiment and provide feedback.

The goal of the 18-month grant is to create markets for Grade B chestnuts by standardizing milling and other processing methods necessary to make chestnuts a versatile ingredient in baked goods, ice cream, and more. Attendees of the workshop had the opportunity to sample chestnut flour products made by Athens Bread Company and Village Bakery & Cafe while learning about the project’s research and findings.