I love learning about local entrepreneurs who are living their passion through their businesses. I stumbled across one of my new local favorites this week–Deane’s Kombucha, when owner Bryan (Deane is his middle name) purchased a half of one of our hogs. He was gracious enough to offer us a tour and some samples.
Bryan said that in 2008 his wife brought home some kombucha from the local natural foods co-op, “I loved it. And then I found out how much it cost. Then I found out you could brew it at home.” So he started experimenting with home brewing, finding just he right mix to produce the taste and health benefits he had grown to love.
In 2010 he decided to launch his own company. A year and a half ago he went full-time with Deane’s Kombucha. “It is scary but necessary to move to the next stage.
Bryan and one of his employees during production day. They brew all their kombucha in oak barrels, crafted by The Barrel Mill in Avon Minnesota. After an initial brewing in barrels about 20 gallons are siphoned off leaving the remaining to begin the next brew. Those 20 gallons are put into buckets were the flavors are added using real fruit and herbs.
How do flavors like raspberry basil and wild blueberry lemon lavender sound? They run about 20-30 different flavors at a time with seasonal varieties added regularly.
We brought home hibiscus grapefruit and ginger honey turmeric. They were a big hit. We shared them around dinner that night with everyone asking for more. Bryan said his favorite flavor is Ginger Cherry.
The bottles read, “Enjoy this living elixir filled with probiotics and enzymes.”
They sell their kombucha by the bottle at several local co-ops as well as kegs available in local restaurants and coffee shops. Check out their locations. And if you want to start out making your own kombucha check out their class schedule.
This year we were one of the very grateful recipients of the Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF). This is one of the only grants available to farmers. Other co-ops have grants available to non-profits and organizations but it is so rare to find an opportunity geared to farmers. Jill Holter of the program was absolutely amazing! She understood where we were coming from as young farmers trying to set up systems with limited income.
Our passion is animals–it always has been, but they require a completely different set up then vegetables. But thanks to LOFF we were able to set up fencing for our animals that will provide them with a safe, healthy home where they can enjoy our land as well.
Our children are getting older. They have begun asking how many states they have been to. I have been informed that Wisconsin doesn’t count as a different state since it is less then 15 minutes away. Mmm lets see three of you have been to California, otherwise we haven’t been out of the state. That can’t be right. But yes it is true we haven’t been on a vacation or even out of the state in years. We talked about doing a vacation but always the demands of the farm and a small budget get in the way. So this year we planned a staycation. During that we pretended we were on vacation so no farm work other then chores. We got to eat out and see some of our favorite places. I also wanted to try some of the interesting food destinations I have been hearing about.
I remember going to Tobies once with my grand mother. Since we were doing an unofficial food tour I wanted this to be our first stop on the way north. I lived up to my expectations but the treats disappeared so fast there were no pictures.
Then we stopped at our favorite beach in Two Harbors for a little picnic and playing in the frigid water. I thought it would be too cold for the children to want to get in the water, but they insisted on bringing their swimming suits. I am glad I listening to them. Our favorite picnic at Two Harbors is always smoked fish and cheese curds.
Gooseberry Falls in another favorite spot. We try to go at least once a year.
Effie helped me contain Lith a bit in a more kid friendly area. My goodness Lith is a daredevil already!
We also stopped in Mahtowa at TJ’s Country Corner. This store boasts some of the best wurst and sausage in Minnesota, all made on site. It had such a fun atmosphere on the weekend with live music, a playground and interesting flea market. The sausage and brats were amazing also.