Memories of Buckwheat Pancakes


Country MoonWhen my cousin asked me if I remembered the old flour mill where our grandparents used to buy flour, it brought back a flood of memories. We both wondered if it was still in business and, sure enough, it wasn’t long before we were headed back to Greenfield Mills. It is located just outside of Howe, Indiana, smack-dab in the middle of nowhere.

When we were kids, our grandparents would make a trip down there once or twice each month to buy the “New Rinkel” flour that made everything Grandma baked taste out-of-this-world. What we especially remembered was the buckwheat pancakes. You haven’t tasted pancakes until you have tried them.

Greenfield Mills has been in the Rinkel family for more than 100 years, and we had the pleasure of meeting Dave Rinkel, the fourth generation of the family to run the mill. At one time small wheat mills dotted the countryside, but today there are only a handful left in the country.

Greenfield Mills 

Then we were treated to a tour of the old mill and got to meet the rest of the crew. His wife, Mary, takes care of the office, his son James runs the mill, his daughter Amanda handles the publicity, and Dave takes care of the marketing, delivering, and just about anything else that needs done. This is truly a family affair.

The mill is the oldest commercial water-powered mill in Indiana and is one of the smallest electric companies in existence. First, Dave showed us the generator and explained that it produces enough power to run two mills and 11 homes. Dave reads the meters, maintains the lines, sends out the bills, and he is also the one they call when the power goes out. When everything is going great, they have extra power they sell to the grid, but when they are down they have to buy from the grid.

4/1/2014 4:50:30 PM

Lois, the trip to the flour mill was indeed and great memory to relive. I'm amazed that it still is operating and with a new additional mill. It's sad that the KFC business was lost. So often when the next generation takes over a company many changes are made. I keep remembering the founder of Walmart with his slogan of "Buy American". Yeah, it's difficult to find any thing in Walmart that's made in America these days. I don't think that I've eaten Buck Wheat pancakes but they sound great. I might have to look around in in the Whole Foods store and see if they have any Buck Wheat flour. Do you just use the Buck Wheat flour instead of regular flour when making Buck Wheat pancakes or are there some special things that need to be changed? Have a great Buck Wheat pancake day.

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