B.C. pedal power helps African farmers

WATCH: Two B.C. brothers built a peddle-powered grain mill in South Sudan to assist with local food processing. Randene Neill has the story.

Chris and Josh Hergesheimer are about to release a book detailing their journey from pedaling grain at Roberts Creek to some of the most remote villages in Africa.

Called “The Flour Peddler: A Global Journey into Local Food from Canada to South Sudan,” the book explains how their grain mill, powered only through pedaling, went from a curiosity at local farmer’s markets to something being used in the South Sudan village of Panlang.

“There were days it felt like I might have been making money, but overall it was a losing money endeavor,” said Chris Hergesheimer of his time trying to sell their fresh-milled flour in Metro Vancouver.

But a chance encounter with a friend who grew up in Panlang changed that.

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“He came by, saw the mill, and said you know what, this is going to be perfect in a place with no electricity, that’s really remote, where people don’t have options,” said Josh.

While in Panlang, they improved their design with help from local villagers. The bike-mill now allows people in the community to grow more grain than they need, giving them the chance to create their own economic opportunities.

Now they operate a company called Continuous Cycle, which helps people in other developing nations have their own bicycle mills.

“We really went into it with no expectations,” said Chris.

“Not safe the world, just save some time.”

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