The new barn and mill
At the center of Grapewood Farm is our hub, the barn and mill. In 2017 we finished construction and installed our grain cleaning system. Then it took us another year to complete the mill. On its roof, the barn has a 13Kw solar array providing more than enough electricity to run our hub. The barn roof also collects rainwater that we store in underground cisterns for our non-potable uses.
The process of removing field debris from the harvest is called “cleaning”. We clean our grain with particular attention to remove undesirables and undersized kernels prior to bagging. Our cleaning process is a two-step operation using an Oliver Eclipse 334 air screen cleaner before passing the seeds across an Oliver HC160 gravity table. Together the two machines separate out the good seed that is then analyzed and tested using an assortment of Perten instruments.
Stone ground flour
Our tag line of "Virginia Grown, Virginia Ground" promotes our mission to bring stone ground flours and healthy flavor- rich grains to chefs, bakers, and families living in our Mid-Atlantic region. There is nothing like using stone ground flour - the natural oils, starches and proteins in the flour retain so much more of their delicious flavor and nutrition!
Grapewood Farm produces flour with traditional stone burr mills. Because these “cold" millstones produce less heat in the grinding process, the wheat germ is not exposed to higher temperatures that cause the oils from the germ to oxidize, which destroys some of the vitamin content. Stone milling retains more of the natural goodness and flavor of the grains. Although best enjoyed fresh, these products should be refrigerated and used within 3 months.
We use Meadows Mills products including an 8” and 20” stone burr mills. The unique vertical positioning of the runner and bedstone allows for finer control over the spacing of the stones, and easier cleaning between different grains. The resulting flour is either bagged as unsifted whole grain flour or mechanically moved with air blower through 4” pipes into an eccentric sifter. Here it passes over screens that sift out lager particles of bran. Depending on the intended application the flour can be sifted to different grades of extraction, and bagged in multiple sizes. We use Perten equipment to test the flour for its level of protein; gluten; ash; and its falling number.
Check out our products page for more information.