“Keep driving! Get to the top of the Mountain!” John Sawyer exclaims as if his man driving the tractor some 100 yards from us can hear him.
The tractor and drill planting rye seed is struggling through some thick mud in the field. Once safely maneuvered out of the mire, we stop to take a look and make sure nothing has been stopped up by the dense, black mud.
“We’ve gotten rain at the wrong times this year”, John tells me as we get back in the truck. He estimates some 37 inches in the past couple months that’s caused the fields to be too damp to plant -- this crop is going in the ground over a month later than planned. The rain has caused the normally functioning drainage ditches in some fields to clog up which leaves slicks of water across his land.
But this is the sort of hard work and hardship that comes along with maintaining a farm that has been in John’s family for four generations. Recently he’s shown the willingness to meet the ebb and flow of the agricultural economy by planting barley, and now rye, for distillers to use. “The demand is there” John tells me, “and everyone I’ve met in the distilling industry has been so nice and supportive.”
After a visit to the annual Craft Malting Conference, John was hooked on the idea of providing for distillers. He met a lot of other growers like him who had come to the distilling/brewing world through a need to meet growing demand. “I still text and email with a few of those guys - they’re a great resource,” says John.
John and his Farm have become a great resource for TexMalt . This is the partnership we look for - a fellow Texan providing high quality product that is made with the same care and attention to detail we pride ourselves on.
View on to see the rest of our day on the farm and we’ll be back soon with more stories from the Farm, the Floor, and the Kiln.
Austin & Chase