Local Operating Grain Mill Welcomes 60 for Bucks County Foodshed Alliance Tour
The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance closed its 2012 free Summer Farm Evening Series with a tour of Castle Valley Mill, a refurbished historic grain mill now back in operation and stone-grinding grains from local and regional sources for local cooks and bakers. The New Britain mill at 1730 Lower State Road, Doylestown, is owned and operated by Mark Fischer and his family, who welcomed more than 60 people from the community to learn about the age-old processing of grains in the 21st century last Wednesday, October 3rd.
After a shared pot luck supper, people could watch a continuously running slide show on the history of Castle Valley Mill, named after that area along the Neshaminy Creek. The mill may have begun grinding Bucks County grains as early as 1730 using water power; it later converted to steam engine power. It was purchased in 1947 by Mark’s grandfather Henry Fischer, a miller from Germany who loved the ongoing repair and restoration of the mill and milling machinery. Henry also collected many machines and parts as other old mills fell out of use.
While Mark gave tours of the various old pieces of equipment and explained their uses, Fran Fischer took visitors to another old structure where the family uses antique mills to produce the fine stone-ground flours, meals and grain mixes for which Castle Valley Mill is once again known – from the common grains, like wheat and corn, to the unusual – emmer and millet.
Processing slowly and at cool temperatures on antique buhr stone mills preserves the grain’s flavor, nutrients and texture and produces exceptional quality dishes and baked goods. Castle Valley Mill always grinds the grains fresh and, when able, uses local Bucks County grains. The only “preservative” used is refrigeration. For more information on the mill and its history: http://castlevalleymill.com/
Bucks County Foodshed Alliance, a nonprofit 501c3 founded in 2006, works to strengthen the county’s farming economy and improve availability of local, healthy, sustainably grown food by connecting farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in education, government, healthcare and business. To learn more: http://www.BucksCountyFoodshedAlliance.org.