Every October, I finish preparing a report to our Board of Directors on how well we are achieving our Ends, or the intended results of our work. Through various measurements, we evaluate our progress on the highest and most purposeful goals, as identified by our Board of Directors who are elected to speak for you, our shareholders. Last year, for instance, I noted that we had some work to do in achieving more of a “reasonably priced food and products” end.
I became more acquainted with rye over the last couple years when I had volunteers of this beautiful grass present themselves in my garden. It is a tall grass with an exquisite sage green color and sheen to it, and anyone who grows winter rye in their garden will be familiar with its beauty. The grass produces the rye seed and is related to wheat and barley. Rye can be found in various forms: flour, flakes, berries, and rye chop or cracked rye (similar to the steel-cut oats version of rye, which is a quicker cooking version of rye berries).
My tour at Whetstone Ciderworks started by viewing their beautiful Depression-era Mt. Gilead hydraulic cider press. Each September, October, and November this amazing machine presses around 1500 gallons of cider from massive tractor bins filled with a variety of local apples. What makes Whetstone CiderWorks’ cider distinctive is the high quality fruit they carefully source: fruit varieties selected over centuries for bringing complexity and character to cider. If you have never tried their cider, now is the time. It could be the best artisanal cider we have seen in years: inspired by family, loaded with local apples, fermented in small batches, and blended with care and experience.