We have given presentations on a range of topics from seed starting, growing & processing grains and solar power on the homestead. The information presented is shared here using a link in each description. You may reuse this as-is information for non-commercial purposes.
Home Grown Grains: A Hands On Workshop
The Central Michigan Seed Swap on Sunday February 23rd at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland is fast approaching. Last year, one of the sessions covered all aspects of growing grains on the home scale.
This year, following a very brief summary of the 'growing phase', we will focus on preparing various grains for eating. More than a dozen stations will be setup for a very hands-on workshop. You will move the wheat, rice, sorghum and corn through processes such as threshing by hand, beating with a rubber hose, cleaning with a house fan, pounding with a mortar & pestle, milling with small & large querns, hand & electric milling wheat into flour, flour sifting as well as manual & electric dehulling of rice.
Sorghum 4S: Seed, Stalk, Sap & Syrup
- Seed—Which Sorghum
- Stalk—Planting and Care
- Sap—Squeezing the Juice
- Syrup—Making Syrup
Our friend at this library (Lyon Township Public Library South Lyon, Michigan) asked us to put together a short presentation and demo on making sorghum syrup. They planted some Rox Orange in their library demo garden and we planted extra on our farm.
We will be hauling our portable mill, truck bed of stalks and all the necessary cooking equipment. We plan to press and mostly cook down a small batch ahead of time so that the demo can show the whole process all at once instead of the hours it normally takes.
Here in Michigan, we are on the northern frontier of sorghum syrup. On the chance there are other nearby potential syrup makers lurking in this area, here is your chance to come get sticky.
Today, we began to strip the leaves from the stalk that get to make the trip to the library. It's a little early, but for the demo, it will do.
Learn about growing grains on a home garden scale. The primary focus is wheat but other crops such as sorghum, millet, amaranth, barley, corn, rice, rye and sunflowers is included. Our speaker will walk us through his personal experience with growing these staples from selection, planting, cultivation, harvest and processing, rounding out the presentation with culinary uses.
Our speaker Scott Hucker lives in Ortonville Michigan with his family on their small homestead farm and grows for Great Lakes Staple Seeds. As a child, he was a champion 4-H gardener.
Learn about solar power systems and options available to homeowners and how to estimate the system size for your family's needs. Our speaker will walk us through his personal experience with design and installation details of the 14 kW hybrid system he installed on their farm and will finish with a review of the performance of the last 3 years.
Seed saving at the Brandon Township Public Library
First version of the Solar System presentation was presented to the Oakland County Permaculture Meetup group.