BQ 'In the Field'

New Success with the Solar Basin

Jamie O'Shea

It’s been 4 years since we commissioned our solar electric kitchen, and shut down the giant ground-based mirrors that launched BjornQorn. For the past ten years, solar electric has absolutely plummeted in price. This is great news for the world! Solar electricity is now broadly competitive in the marketplace with electricity from other sources. Just about every business should be investing in solar power. With almost zero maintenance, we have been able to generate significantly more power than our kitchen uses each year. Our ground-based mirror experiments have continued on the side, but have been mostly frustrating for the past...

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Harvest 2019

Bjorn Quenemoen

Harvest 2019

So that does it for 2019! It was a great growing year in both MN and NY. We harvested about 800-900 bushels total so far. That's about 50,000 pounds of popping goodness. We have one more field in NY that is still drying, and hopefully the most recent snowstorm doesn't take a big toll. But sometimes waiting is the best option. At Kelder's we opted to take it a day before the storm, and we're drying it down in house now. In Minnesota we took it over a month ago and were able to bin dry it somewhat...But not completely. ...

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Monarchs

Jamie O'Shea

Monarchs

Snapped this nice picture of a Monarch butterfly with the BQ barn in the background. This guy should be one of the "super-generation" that will make the incredible flight from here to Mexico to overwinter. Most generations of Monarchs only live for one month, but this one will live up to 8 months! He'll flutter 50 miles a day to reach Mexico, and no one knows exactly how he performs the navigational feat. Monarchs are on the decline, possibly because of the decline of the one plant they can lay their eggs on- milkweed. Milkweed produces a bitter sap that the...

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Popcorn Cleaning Round II

Bjorn Quenemoen

Popcorn Cleaning Round II

As promised I will detail a bit more about cleaning popcorn. Usually when I talk to someone about this they wonder if I'm lathering and rinsing the seeds. I am not. The more appropriate name for the process would probably be classifying. Like panning for gold. I only want the gold. To do this we start with a machine called a screener / scalper. It is commonly referred to as a 'Clipper'. It takes in the shelled popcorn, scalps out the larger debris with the top screen and screens out the smaller debris with the bottom screen. This model is...

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A visit to the Biosphere

Jamie O'Shea

A visit to the Biosphere

While we were in the Tucson area, we made a pilgrimage to the hippy-nerd mecca of Biosphere 2. You may remember the news sensation this experiment caused in the 90s, or maybe you only know and love it from the Pauly Shore movie Biodome. How there has not been a more serious film treatment of this story I have no idea, because it's just about the greatest story ever told.  Basically, a science-oriented theater troupe teamed up with a Texas billionaire to build a Mars colony on Earth: a totally self-contained 3 acre greenhouse. The troupe would live in it...

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