An introduction from a brand-new member.
I am a retired college professor who in 2018 bought the empty shell of a gentleman farmer's mansion in northwestern, rural Indiana. The house, almost 6000 square feet, was designed by architect Fred Friedline, who practiced locally as well as in downtown Chicago. When purchased, the 1916 house had no working electrical, plumbing or heating systems, a badly leaking roof, and 30 broken windows.
The homestead also has a 3-bay barn, chicken house, 3-seater brick outhouse, "cob house" for storing corncobs to power the kitchen stove, an "oil house" intended to separate volatile substances from the rest of the outbuildings, and the original mid-1860s house, which in 1916 was converted into a shop/garage, with a 2-room upstairs apartment.
I have slowly made progress; the house is now habitable, has a new roof and working infrastructure. I have a small flock of chickens and a huge garden which has produced almost 3 tons of tomatoes in the past three seasons.
I hope to make the place self-sustaining, and towards that end have been working on developing a number of food-related products that I hope to eventually make available in local markets.
I have a semi-commercial kitchen with a South Bend 300-series range, 5'x3'x4" baker's table, and stainless sink-counter. I have a pair of La Parmigiana D45 pasta extruders with an array of dies, and have produced several hundred pounds of fresh bronze-cut pasta. I use an Old Tyme peanut butter mill to grind nut butters from nuts roasted in-house, and recently resuscitated an ACMC tabletop chocolate tempering machine, which I am using to learn the chocolatier's craft.
I have found much useful information on this site, and will be posting shortly a couple of questions that I've encountered in my recent chocolate work. I've made about 600 dipped and molded chocolates so far in the last month, and have on hand about 50 pounds of Barry Callebaut coverture products, including formulas 811, 823, and W2. I've purchased several molds, plastic, polycarbonate and vintage metal, and have a large marble slab I'm using for hand dipping.
I thank you for taking the time read, and hope I will be able to contribute a bit as well to the knowledge based on this site.