Anna Lauer graduated from culinary school right after high school. She apprenticed herself to a pastry chef, graduated apprenticeship, and continued her education. At age 20 she opened a bakery in downtown Bismark North Dakota. But she was also drawn to farming. Anna and her family soon moved to Wildflower Farm in Puposky, north of Bemidji. "Our farm was the original dairy farm for the Lake Julia Sanitorium years ago. It was established in about 1920. The barn is still there--not all of it--but the part that is there we do use and it's functioning pretty well for us."
Anna and her family grow wheat. They also have a garden, some fruit trees and berries, animals, and 4 children under 4 years old. Of the children she says, "They're fun! They're busy but they're fun!"
As much as Anna had always been drawn to animals and farming, the baking eventually crept back in. "I kept trying to kind of walk away from the baking. I had this vision of this glorious vegetable stand at the farmers' market. And our garden failed miserably twice last year. I was pregnant with our 4th one and just couldn't keep trying to garden. So I switched to baking and all of a sudden that snowballed into something much bigger. I've had a flour mill for years. We got a new mill that's still small...but I decided to grow some wheat because I really wanted to bake with it. And we've got our wood-fired oven. I wanted to do a start-to-finish loaf of bread where I plant the wheat, and clean it, and grind it; bake the bread...cut the tree down and start the fire and bake the bread. We did accomplish that this year, which is really exciting!
Anna describes her business--including what she bakes, her cookstove, and how she grinds her wheat--in this interview from Northern Community Radio's Morning Show. For information about Wildflower Farm, visit their website at wildflowerfarm.org, or check them out on Facebook at wildflowerfarmmn. You can buy Anna's baked goods at her website or at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers' Market in the summer.