Buy your brewing supplies here

We now have a range of base and specialty malts for sale. A catalog and new website is coming soon. Let us know what you need and we will sell it to you or special order it for you. Please bear with us during this initial stage and we will have the full service shop available in no time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Oh Spring, the memory of your green, sweet warm afternoons graces me.
The thaw and drying of this clump of dirt
Hurling through space, preparing to round the celestial corner we call equinox.
Oh Spring, bring me your warming sunshine and all it means
Point us toward the sun; Do that to me one more time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

To Plow or not to Plow

running sub title: Have Tractor Will Plow

We had a few days of above freezing temps with sunshine last week and this left me pondering soil, tillage methods, soil erosion and the urge to drag something sharp and powerful behind my tractor.  Now, let me state for the record that I consciously resisted the urge to deny or at least hold private the last part of the previous sentence; the "drag something sharp and powerful behind my tractor" part.  Here we are trying to demonstrate a better, more sustainable and environmentally friendly way to feed ourselves and I find myself dreaming of PTO horsepower and wide implements!  As much as I would deny it, there is something to these feelings.  I think many of us might paint it as a "man" thing, but is that it?  Intellectually I'd like to think not, but are tools fulfilling some weapons need that early man (here I do mean males) developed as we moved from a hunting to agrarian existence.  This line of thought is even more interesting considering  I am a vegetarian.

Nevertheless, I find myself being reminded that we don't really know what we are doing yet.  I have, however, learned the difference between cultivating and tillage.  I also found it very interesting that  no-till methods don't really mean what I think they mean.  This is apparently a trend in modern  agriculture, which means that seeds and nutrients are placed in the soil without significantly disturbing the soil.  I think it is akin to poking a hole or furrow just wide enough for the seed, compared to completely inverting the soil system with a moldboard plow.  The benefits are decreased erosion and less damage to the beneficial living soil components (i.e. worms), but the negative (in my view) is the complete dependence on herbicides and genetically modified seeds for weed control.  But here I find myself pondering the cost/benefit of discers, rippers, middle busters, cultivators, and rotary tillers.

Maybe I will just walk across the highway and talk to the farmer there to see what I can learn.  What?  Is this a reason to interact with a neighbor?  Maybe I am really onto something...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is simple really that complicated?

Today a colleague of mine and I were talking about trading grains....and it seemed so "out there" and even "alternative" by modern standards.  My colleagues faith prompts him to store a significant amount of grain, for various and obvious reasons.  He chooses to actually use the grain and cycles it from old to fresh.  They have a nice flour mill and make fresh wheat bread on a regular basis.  I think this is really cool.  The other day he asked if I had any extra malted barley that we could try in a bread recipe and I remembered to bring it to him today.  He is going to trade us some wheat grain and I will make some home ground/homemade bread with the kids because they will think it is cool.  How many of us have ever even seen a wheat kernel or berry?  According to Wikipedia, wheat has been cultivated domestically since 9,000BC and harvested in the wild since 23,000BC.  It is probably largely responsible for much of the progress that we have made as humans.  How is it that most of us have become so removed from agricultural production and raw products that it seems "alternative" to do what has been done for eons?  It is an interesting question to ponder.  I think we might have to grow a little wheat and/or barley, just for the fun in it.