The Roastery at Innisfree: 2015 price update

In a word, yeouch!

All sorts of things factored into the most recent price increases, including world turmoil, weather, climate, and the fact that I waited way too long to start raising my prices in the hope green coffee prices would actually go down.

My new prices reflect the current market and should allow me, barring unpredictable world events, to avoid raising them again for a while.

DLH

Read more at my The Roastery at Innisfree site...

Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater: Web roundup

Want to know what I’m reading about agriculture, food, and sustainability? Well this periodic post is the place to find out:

  1. Kajabi on the old wise farmer
  2. Treehugger on exploding pig barns
  3. The New York times on the rise of the artisanal food producer
  4. Scientific American on the impracticality of the cheeseburger
  5. Foreign Policy Magazine on commodity induced food price inflation
  6. Popular Science on how feeding antibiotics to pigs is helping to create superbugs
  7. The Guardian on Monsanto being found guilty of poisoning by a French court
  8. Gene Logsdon at The Contrary Farmer on the need for secret crying places
  9. Wake Up World on bus roof gardens
  10. Treehugger on Seattle’s attempt to create the world’s first public food forest

You can also get these kind of links in real time by following me on Facebook or Twitter.

DLH

Read more at my Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater site...

Coffee: Updated price list

I finally updated the price list on this site to reflect my current prices. Of course, some of you might be wondering, “Why the big increases?”

Unfortunately, coffee, like many other commodities, is experiencing large price swings right now. Many of the varieties I carry increased as much as a dollar a pound for green coffee last year and some of the varieties I want to carry are simply not available this year.

In order to ensure I can continue to roast–let’s face it, roasting involves a lot more than just buying green beans–I had to adjust my prices accordingly. If prices were to go down, and there is evidence that they may for some varieties later this year, I will adjust my prices accordingly.

In the mean time, thank you for your patronage and I look forward to roasting coffee for your in 2012.

DLH

Read more at my Coffee site...

Coffee: Breaking things in

Well, all of the parts of the new roaster arrived over the weekend, and right now, I am engaged in the process of breaking my roaster in with the hope of doing my first test roasts tonight. If all goes well–and I expect it will–I should be back to roasting on a normal schedule tomorrow.

In the mean time, I should also pass along the fact that I will be selling coffee at the Downtown Troy Farmer’s Market at least for the month of June. I will decide toward the end of June whether to do the rest of the season based on sales during the four weeks I know I will be there.

Also, as promised, I will be adding some new coffees to my lineup, specifically Brazilian, Guatemalan Villa Herminia Estate, Mexican Turqueza Estate, and Mexican Chiapas Free Trade Organic. In the near future, I will also add a classic espresso blend, a house espresso blend, and a dark roast blend. If all goes well–again depending on sales–I plan to add more varieties toward the end of the year.

Finally, and unfortunately, the run-up in commodity prices has hit the coffee market pretty hard over the past year, causing some single origin coffees to go up as much as 50 percent in price since last year at this time. Because I price my coffees based on my wholesale cost, I have no choice but to increase my prices in order to cover the cost of buying green beans. Most of the increases will be between 1o and 20 percent ($1 or $2 per pound).

Stay tuned for further developments.

DLH

Read more at my Coffee site...

Farming: Your yard could be making you money [UPDATED]

If you haven’t already noticed, world food prices have reached crisis levels in part on one of the tightest cereal grain supplies in modern times. Unfortunately, this trend only stands to continue on the heels of a terrible wheat harvest in China after Russia’s catastrophic drought last year.

What does this have to do with your yard? Simply that you could be growing cereal grains there instead of grass.

Consider that, unless you have grazing animals, grass is a worthless crop that costs you money in the form of mowing, landscaping, and fertilization (although why people fertilize grass they then cut so short it almost dies is beyond me).

On the other hand, a 10 foot by 10 foot plot of wheat can yield enough grain to keep a family of four in bread for a year and with wheat selling at $7.40 a bushel, it is easy to see how someone can turn at least a small profit on a small plot of ground. Depending on the size of the plot, the sowing method used, and the type of seed used, a 20 by 60 plot could yield anywhere from 1.3 to 2 bushels of wheat, and a 10 by 10 plot can yield up to 20 pounds of grain.

Now, I know that, especially if you live in a city, tearing up your yard to plant wheat can be problematic, but it’s not impossible, and wheat isn’t even the only crop you could plant. The point is that you could be making money off your yard, especially right now, and it wouldn’t take much on your part to do it.

DLH

UPDATED: Corrected my bad math and failure to pay attention to detail. See the discussion below. Thanks to Matt for catching my mistake.

Read more at my Farming site...