Meditations on my Wet Feet

By Matt Hansen, Phase I Fellow


I started writing this blog at my campsite after a full day of solo hiking through Dolly Sods wilderness. If you haven't been, you should think about going. It's perhaps the most picturesque World War II bombing test site I've ever set foot on. I was alone on the trail all day, and had plenty of time to reflect on my time at AMI. But for much of the day I was thinking about my feet - my tired and soggy feet.



The trail felt like a string of endless puddles. Every step was exciting - I never knew when I'd take a step and be up to my knees in mud.


Up on the farm, we've been getting our feet wet a lot, too - both literally and figuratively. During these first two months, we’ve gotten to try things that many of us had no prior experience with. We've already dipped our toes into our bee hives and waded into a sea of compost and soon we'll be knee-deep in medicinal salves. Rarely do people have the time, space, and resources to explore so many different things in such a short amount of time.


Whether it’s in the garden, in the kitchen, or in the wilderness, it seems there are endless opportunities to find something of interest and run with it and I’m grateful to be surrounded by a group of people who share the same energy and enthusiasm for embracing these new experiences. Take the Bear Mountain Brew Crew, for example, who decided to dive into the world of homebrewing. The crew features Lola, our friendly local cheesemaker; Kaila, an aspiring astronomer and salamander enthusiast; and myself, a guy who enjoys fermented beverages. Between the three of us, we had a combined total of zero years of brewing experience. After reading a few pages and watching a few YouTube videos, we’re now confident we can mash and sparge with the best of ‘em, and will soon be swimming in our first five gallons of homebrew.


Making the Mash. This step activates the starches in the grain to turn into sugar.

Sparging the grains. In this step, we poured hot water over the mash to “rinse” it of any remaining sugars.

Bottling! Soon, we'll our beer with be ready to test!

We’ve been gifted the opportunity with this Fellowship to dip our feet in all these different puddles. Some might feel great to step into, some we might skirt around. Some we might just break the surface, but for some, we might just sink in and stay awhile.

0 views

Allegheny Mountain Institute

PO Box 542,

Staunton, VA 24402 

 

AMI at Augusta Health

540-886-0160

Fishersville, VA

Allegheny Farm Campus 

540-468-2300

Hightown, VA