Hannah and Ben Rossman, cousins who co-own and operate Blue Grouse Bread in Norwood, are celebrating a victory for both their business and their greater vision for Wright’s Mesa. The West End Economic Development Corporation has established a new grain mill in Norwood. 

“The mill is here, and we are still finishing the installation and one more inspection before it’s fully operational,” said Hannah Rossman on Sunday.

Rossman said the mill is a 40-inch device, which was built in Vermont by New American Stone Mills. She said the builder is a leading manufacturer of such mills.  

The mill has been placed inside a small shed behind the Blue Grouse Bread bakery. While WEEDC owns the mill, which was purchased through an Economic Development Administration grant, it will remain in Blue Grouse’s shed. Rossman said, though, that anyone interested in grinding their own grain is welcome to come and use it – with supervision and guidance. 

Rossman said the mill means that Norwood can keep flour and baked goods even more local. She said it allows producers in the region to link up with local bakers. 

“So Norwood can use all locally grown flour if interested,” she said. 

Rossman is especially excited about the Oct. 19 grain workshop. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day at the Livery, guest speaker Julie Zavage will speak to anyone interested about building a local grain economy on Wright’s Mesa. 

According to Rossman, Zavage is an expert in the field and founded an organization called Maine Grains, which has worked to help reestablish grain economies. She added that Norwood was lucky to have Zavage come to town. 

“She was part of the organization Maine Grains, now she lives in Salida. She knows about milling, grain growing and also economic opportunity,” she said. 

Getting all interested people in a room together to talk about local grain and locally milled flour is something Rossman is enthusiastic about. She said it’s a great way to network. 

Already, the Marolf family has been growing “turkey red” for Rossman, and a new Norwood-grown and -ground loaf is expected to be on grocery shelves soon. Rossman wants people to know that it’s possible to keep baked goods truly local. 

After the workshop with Zavage, folks are then invited to see the new grain mill. Free pizza will be served, featuring local grains in the pizza dough. Rossman said she’s hoping people will show up and take interest.  

The Oct. 19 workshop is sponsored by a several organizations, which are collaborating to support the new mill and a future grain economy. Those include the West End Economic Development Corporation, the Colorado State University Extension Office, the Telluride Foundation, the Economic Development Administration and also the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. 

Rossman said she’s grateful for all the support, and especially that Rocky Mountain Farmers Union came to her and requested to be a part of the workshop to support the grain vision. 

Anyone who would like to attend the day’s events should contact Mary Watson at the CSU Extension Office in Norwood by calling 327-4393 or emailing maryw@sanmiguelcountyco.gov.

Rossman said she was happy to answer any questions, and that folks could email her at Hannah.rossman@gmail.com.

Additionally, she said that her business is doing well. This summer, she expanded her baked goods in Montrose, as her loaves on the shelves at Natural Grocers. She also has inventory in Ridgway, too.