Thursday, 25 August 2011

Interning Possibility

Well, after some thought about what I had written last time, I checked out Rockland's Farm website, and decided to ask them if they were offering interns next year. Shaun replied and told me that they were unsure at this point, but that I should come up and visit the farm before much later in the year, so I can get a feel for what it would be like to live and work their.

So, after looking at my schedule I found an open spot, September 9-10. My plan tentatively, if I had a vehicle (which I've been doing lots of searching and emailing without much success yet) is to drive to the farm (in Maryland) from work, after I get off around 1:30-2:00pm. The drive is 7hr 10min from my house, which means it will probably closer to 7hr 40min from my work.

I'll get in Friday night, sleep, and the following morning I would be able to check out the farm. I would leave Saturday afternoon to come back home.

If they do take interns next year I would try and finish up school as early as possible (I plan to anyway), graduate, and go to intern for the next 4-5 months of the season. Unfortunately I probably wouldn't be able start until the end of May or so.

Anyway...that is what I am thinking about...

English Vintner

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


I’ve never really truly had my life planned. Indeed in what I thought or what actually happened.

Lately I’ve rethought a few of the tentative decisions I’ve made and wondered if I should do something else.

The things I have thought about doing are as follows:

Johnson and Wales, 2 year Baking Degree
Continue Stone Table as Chef (maybe work evenings while going to J&W)
Intern at a farm (when Joel Barr is at) for 8 months or so
Intern at a Winery, I’ll get into that more
Covenant College, or another christian college that won’t teach me junk like a Community College

Firstly Johnson and Wales. I was interested in getting a culinary degree, then I started work at the Stone Table and I can get a good enough education through that. The only reason to get a culinary degree from J and W would be to get a piece of paper that would get me a high end job working in a restaurant. So, I have been looking at getting a Baking Degree from them. I’m not getting much baking from the restaurant because it is a restaurant and not a bakery. Tentatively I don’t know if I would go next year or two years from now.

I am hoping to move up to Chef in the next 6 months. It would be more of what I like to do, more cooking, and the pay would be a little better. I would have to do more work and planning, but I think I would enjoy it.

I have really been considering interning at a farm, particularly the farm up in Maryland that Joel is working at. The reasons why I would like it are: It would be away from home, and I really need to live away from home. I feel that I really need to move away, make relationships with other people, find friends who are interested in some of the same things I am in. The farm would pay me to work on it, and I wouldn’t have to pay room or board. All I can see about it is positive things.

Winery. I would still like to intern at a winery. I know a few around here. Maybe I could find one in Asheville or some place close enough to come visit home, but far enough away I could live away from home and get out on my own. I can see mostly pros, but a few cons would be that there might not be as many people my age working at the winery that I could build close friendships with.

Covenant Collage or another Christian College. I’ll list pros and cons, then talk about them.
Build up strong friendships with other guys
Be out of the house and getting out more on my own
At this point I don’t know what I would major in that would help me. Maybe a science?
It could/would be costly to go for the whole 4 years, but if I’m not going for the whole 4 years is it worth it?

So, the pros are that I would be living on campus and being able to build friendships with other guys in a way that is like no other. I would be out of the house, getting out on my own, which is something I really want to do.

The cons would be that I don’t know what major I would do if I did go to Covenant. I know the things I am interested in: cooking/baking, agriculture. Plus it is costly. I don’t remember how much it is a year, but it is a lot of money, especially if the main reason is not necessarily an education.

So, at this point I am feel somewhat lost in what to do. What I really like about the internship at the farm is that I would be living at the farm and working, those to things help build relationships a lot. Plus I am getting paid, and learning from it.

I’d like to go to J&W’s, but I don’t know how many relationships I could build without them having a campus I could live on. However, during the baking parts I could see building relationships with other people...

I am glad that I have one more year of high school, I am hoping that by the end I have a more clear plan about what I am doing next. I like the Stone Table, but I feel like I am missing out on a time to build other relationships if I don’t go to College, and not simply for an education.

English Vintner

p.s. I have trained my younger brother and he is now doing most of the roasting for my coffee business. If or when I do go away I will have him continue the business.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


I think it's about time for a recipe. This is the recipe we use at the restaurant for our spiced nuts that go on spinach salads or desserts. They are quite tasty, though too hot for most kids. If you like them come on down for one of our spinach salads that comes topped with them! : )

Stone Table Spiced Nuts
White Pepper 1/2 Tbs
Black Pepper 1/2 Tbs
Garlic Powder 1 Tbs
Onion Powder 1Tbs
Paprika 1 Tbs
Chili Powder 1 Tbs
Ginger 2 tsp
Cayenne 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon 1 Tbs
Salt 1 Tbs
Brown Sugar 1/4 c. + 1 Tbs
Butter 4 Tbs
Nuts (pecans, walnuts) 4 c.
Melt butter in sauce pan. Mix together spices in one bowl. In a third bowl put nuts in, add butter, toss until well coated, then add the spices and stir until well coated. Bake at 250ºF for 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy.
English Vintner

New each morning

Through misty dawn
And snow capped mountain peaks,
So I am drawn
To wilderness that speaks,
And through it all
The ever rising sun,
New each morning,
Gone by dusk.

English Vintner

Friday, 5 August 2011

English Cafè Goals

Here are my goals for my coffee company.

Goals For English Cafè
In 1 month establish a good customer base at church
In 3 months establish a good customer base for shipping and outside church
In 10 months buy new $2500 roaster
In 11 months sell at Farmers Markets and other events
In 12 months more than paid back everything that was put into it
In 18 months handed the job of roasting and orders partially over to someone else
In 24 months be making over $6000 a year annually

English Vintner

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Well, work at the Stone Table has gone well. It is some what annoying having a deadline of when you have to be somewhere 5 days a week, but I guess that is how it would be unless you have your own business...

Coffee, I talked to the Stone Table about coffee, and I am giving them drastically lower prices than to other customers. The main difference will be that they will be on a regular basis, several pounds a week, increasing more in the colder months. I am selling it to them I think at around $8.00 a pound. That means that I am making $1.40 right now on each pound, a little less. However, I am making as much as I spent and a little more, which means I will be bringing in as much and a little more than what I spent on the beans. Which means I will be buying beans more often, or in larger quantities, lowering the price. Once I can buy coffee in 50lb bags I will be earning about a dollar more because of the lower buying price. And I won't have to add in the cost of bags because I can get them to save me the resealable bags I use and use them again and again. I have one regular customer at church, and sent a pound to my cousin. I have not yet started selling to any more customers, partly I've been busy, and well, I guess that is it, I'm busy. After vacation next week I can start getting a few more customers who have said they are interested. I want to figure out a way I can be putting the money I generate from this into one account or something, so that once I have brought in $2500 I can upgrade to a bigger roaster and I can roast at Farmers Markets (a big selling place I've heard) because it is totable. So, that is the plan for coffee. Put all the money I get into one 'fund' and use out of that to buy more beans and bags, but be saving until I can buy a larger roaster, than sell my roaster I bought, hopefully make a couple hundred off it. I've never seen any used of the roaster I bought, so it my sell well, without much competition.

My garden, alas has seen little of me, and I've seen little of it. What with the heat and starting the part time job, and a million other things. Once cool weather sets in I'll get to it again though, especially if I read about farming or something. : ) Reading about gardeners always inspires me to do better with my garden. My sweet potatoes are doing well, the bed with black plastic is going wonkers. My green beans, I found out too late that I let them get too big, so that at the point I realized I couldn't pick them without them being a waste. In other words, they got to big and then started producing less because I wasn't picking them. So, at this point I'm leaving them on to dry and I'll plant them all next year. Hey, at least I learned something! I picked some tomatoes and tromboncino squash and a bunch of grapes yesterday. The grapes were good, I took some and started a sourdough starter with them.

All in all life is busy but I'm trying to make the best of it. We are going camping next week and I'm seeing my cousins this week end (were going camping with them), so I'm pretty excited!

Until next time when life parts it's waters for a little while to let me pass through, until then.

English Vintner