How to Get Carl's Starter

USA Residents
Send a self-addressed, stamped (49¢) #10 envelope [SASE49] to:

Oregon Trail Sourdough
P. O. Box 321
Jefferson, MD 21755 USA

A #10 envelope, also called, in the USA, a "business-size envelope", measures about 9-1/2 inches by 4-1/8 inches (24 cm by 10.5 cm). European size DL is close enough. If such an envelope is not available, simply send postage (or currency as below) plus your postal address, and we will provide an envelope.

Please write your address carefully and neatly. When filled envelopes come back marked undeliverable, there's nothing we can do about it.

Normally, it could take up to six weeks for your start to get to you, but it probably won't. See why...

Other Countries
Requests require $1.20 US postage
or substitute two U.S. one-dollar bills or an IRC (International Reply Coupon) instead of the SASE. If you send currency, include this instruction: "Send Starter." Send your name and address and fold your instruction note around currency to reduce possibility of pilferage. (The currency option is recommended for Canada and other places in the world where U.S. dollar bills are not unusual. Our cost, including postage, for overseas mailings is ~$1.50. Your $2 remittance includes a donation of ~50¢ towards mailings to countries where U.S. currency cannot be found.) Otherwise, non-domestic requesters should contact a volunteer. (You might want to do that before you pay an unreasonable price for an IRC.) Any currency sent without an instruction will be treated as a donation.

Please be aware that stamps issued by countries other than US are not of use -- only US stamps are accepted by our post office.

There is no charge for the starter. Occasional unsolicited donations offset costs of distribution and production to allow us to carry on Carl's tradition of not requesting a fee.
(Please, NO CHECKS. Our banks have made depositing checks very difficult. Cash works fine or we can accept PayPal at

The Brochure
Read Carl's brochure here or print a copy from the MSWord (*.doc) or Acrobat (*.pdf) files at this web site. If you do not have access to a printer and need a copy, please write "SEND BROCHURE" on the back side of the SASE. Concise instructions for reviving the dried start are also available here.

The semi-dry sourdough starter you will receive is composed of wheat flour, moisture, and sourdough organisms, presumed to be "wild" yeast and lactobacteria. The usual amount sent is a a rounded teaspoon full, sufficient to start several cultures. It is cultured, dried, and mailed under sanitary, but not sterile, conditions by a volunteer who adheres to the methods used and recorded by Carl Griffith. It is not certified as a foodstuff. If you are allergic or reactive to any of its components, we guarantee that you will be allergic or reactive to it. We also guarantee that we make our best efforts so that you will receive a healthy, vigorous dried sourdough start which will easily revive to authentic Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter.

This page is current Summer 2017

IMPORTANT: Publishers please make reference to, not to our P.O. Box, which may change. Full instructions can be found there.

Note: We have become aware of an eBay site purporting to sell our starter complete with our stolen logo. We have nothing to do with this site and have no idea how well the starter is being kept.