Home-roasted coffee beans and rural fantasy

Posted: March 18, 2017 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Coffee drinkers love to talk about where their coffee beans come from and they love to grind their own beans.  But how many have ever roasted their own beans…outside…in the hills of Arkansaseven in the winter?  Yeah, I thought not. I happen to know one who does.

Madison Woods, one of several nom de plumes, lives with her husband in very rural Arkansas, working hard at living a sustainable lifestyle 30 minutes from paved roads.  I first met her through Friday Fictioneers, a group she founded.  The premise behind FF, which I participated in for a number of years, is to write a 100-word story based on a photo.  (The group continues today under the auspices of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, a three-times published author.)  Madison still writes, her specialty being rural (vs. urban) fantasy.  She has one book published and available on Amazon, with a second in the works.

Madison loves nature.  One of her more esoteric pursuits is American ginseng.  She says:

American Ginseng and the habitat that supports this endangered plant is one of my avid interests. Most of my non-fiction is devoted to this topic and I encourage anyone with the right kind of land to help protect and re-establish habitat. This is my goal for our property even though we still intend to harvest and sell our roots eventually. With proper planning, planting and ethical harvesting, it will thrive for generations to come.

Wild Ozark is the only licensed American ginseng nursery in Arkansas.

But about that coffee.   When I wanted a unique gift for one of my s-i-l’s who’s a  coffee drinker, my mind immediately went to Madison.  She and her husband love coffee so much that they source, then roast their own.  I contacted her in January, only to be told that it was too cold outside to roast, but that she thought in a few days it would warm up enough to do so.  That’s not something you see every day!

We use Peru Aprocassi Fair Trade and Organic beans. This is the variety of bean we love the most. I roast outside in full view of the mountains and the valley. The Wild Ozark hills are infused in every cup!

Ordered and delivered long before the birthday date, I waited to see what my s-i-l thought.  When she finally opened and tried the coffee, she raved about it.  The proof is that she just re-ordered.  Hopefully it’s nice enough outdoors to roast!  🙂

Interested?  The coffee is $15/roasted pound, whole bean only.  Email Madison at madison@wildozark.com for availability, postage, and payment methods.  If you’d like to read more about Madison and her interests (or to sign up to follow her blog), go to the Wild Ozark website. Even if you aren’t interested in coffee, you’ll find it full of interesting information about ginseng and other things and you can shop in the Nature Boutique or order one of her fantasy books. There’s so much there I can’t even tell you about all of it, so take time for a visit.  It’s easier to get to than Madison’s place in Arkansas. 🙂

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    Interesting. I met an off the grid coffee grower in Boquete, Panama. His coffee was amazing too.

  2. Ha! Your SIL’s coffee is already in the mail and maybe halfway there today 😉 Much better weather these days with Spring right around the corner now. Thanks for this pretty awesome write-up, Janet! And yes, lol, it is a lot easier to just mail order than it is to get out here. However, for the brave folks with good tires (6 miles of dirt road), I’ll have a little on-site boutique at the nursery opening in May 🙂

  3. Dan Antion says:

    That’s a cool story and an interesting lady. I’ll pass this onto my wife. I’m too lazy to grind my own coffee. I probably wouldn’t survive long off the grid, but I think my wife would.

  4. joey says:

    Spent a lot of time in southeast Virginia where the ginseng grows almost as fast and thick as the kudzu. It is a fascinating, helpful plant. I’ve contemplated growing it, but fear containment issues.
    I’ll skip on the coffee for now, but I did bookmark the page for maybe, sometime. 🙂

  5. Su Leslie says:

    Great post Janet. As you know I am a coffee drinker, and really interested in the beans, the roasting, etc. although I haven’t roasted my own. Madison’s a bit far away for me to order from, but I’m just off to check out her website. Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks for taking a look at the website, Su. International postage would be killer! 🙂


      • Su Leslie says:

        Yeah, I don’t think I can buy the coffee, but I really enjoyed looking around her site. I am always interested in people who are living a more natural, balanced life wherever they are.

    • Thanks for visiting, Su! For anyone who wants to roast some green beans, it’s easy to get started with a popcorn popper. We started out with an iron skillet in the woodstove attached to a long handle that Rob added to it. Then we used a Jiffy air popcorn popper, then moved to a rotisserie style roaster. It’s a lot more affordable to order green beans and roast them yourself, especially if you’re out of the country from wherever the beans grow.

      • Su Leslie says:

        Thanks so much for this Madison. Coffee has become a bit of a national obsession here in NZ and there are lots of micro-roasting places popping up (and micro-breweries too, so I have a lot to be happy about).
        But I digress! I really like the idea of roasting my own beans because I like to understand the food I eat. I’ve learned to make sourdough bread in the last year, and am busy figuring out bacon-curing without nitrates. My partner made some very fine mozzarella recently and keeps threatening to make beer. We’ve got pickles sussed, so I figure if we get the beer and coffee sorted we’ll be sweet.
        I saw a woman roast coffee beans in a tiny skillet over a gas burner at Camden Lock in England a couple of years ago. She made me probably the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.
        Thanks again for stopping by; you’ve given me encouragement to try roasting. 🙂

      • Can’t wait to hear about your coffee roasting adventures, Su. You two are making some great food.

      • Su Leslie says:

        I’m so keen to have a go! And I’m loving that the Big T has got so interested in making our food too. The sourdough has been the biggest revelation. It is so filling, keeps fresh for ages and is much easier to digest than bought bread.

  6. I think there may be more people than you think who have at one time or other roasting their own beans. Picture me raising my hand. 🙂 We have and we’ve bought wonderful beans from a variety of places. Lately, we buy from Peet’s in MA, and we grind our own beans every time. We even bought Peet’s in SC. 🙂 We love good coffee.

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