This week we took a major step toward returning to one of my favorite kitchen activities, baking. For various reasons baking has taken a back burner in recent months but not anymore! Also, I have been spending several hours a week working on a new certification which will help our homestead. This week I finally finished it and am sharing some of the finished plans. Come take a look.
Installing the Wheat Grinder so we can start Baking
We love baking. There are so many breads we have enjoyed making over the years and our baking has gone through a progression. We started with white bread, moved on to whole wheat, then to oat other whole grains, before settling on whole wheat sourdough. That’s not to say we don’t bake other things but mastering our sourdough is the way we want to go!
The draw back has been grinding our own wheat. Yes, there are store bought whole wheat flours. However, after reading Michael Pollan’s book Cooked, we believe the best way to maximize the nutrition in our bread is to grind the flour ourselves. For the last four years that has meant grinding our flour by hand… If you have never tried it, I’ll let you know it is a workout.
For us, this week brought light to the end of the tunnel. With the cold room shelves built we spent some time painting the room to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing. Then we mounted the grain mill to the shelves and attached it to a motor! I have wanted to do this for three years (literally bought the motor 3 years ago) we were just missing the flywheel and a place to put it. So now, we can grind our flour and bake our bread to our hearts content!
The Permaculture Plan
I first learned about permaculture as a grad student. It may be a little odd to some while getting a PhD in Physics I spent a lot of time talking about regenerative agriculture with some like minded graduate students. Throughout those conversations I was introduced to permaculture. The idea behind permaculture is to work with nature. Mimicking natures patterns and behavior as much as possible in order to build lasting food production systems. These systems, once established, can ofter take care of themselves while still producing a yield! For more information on permaculture look at some of these resources.
Ever since we arrived on our homestead I have been trying to implement permaculture systems that will make our lives easier. However, I did not have a grand master plan for the property. Last year I finally enrolled in a Permaculture Design Certification course online. This course has been helping me learn the skills and develop the tools I need to build a design for our homestead. This last week I finished the course by building finishing that plan and am now a certified Permaculture Designer. To give you all an idea of what our homestead will look like, once everything is done, I’ve included some of the maps I developed for the course (sorry that some details and explanations are missing).
This plan will take several years to implement. But with each year we work at it we will see increased productivity, fertility, and beauty on our homestead. we are so excited!