East Wind Nut House Expansion!
As some of you may know East wind is expanding! For those who have been to East Wind throughout the years we have watched this little nut butter business grow.
At this point we are expanding our building for a third line that will be a production line for our jars and 5# tubs. The reason we are expanding has to do with the equipment we use: lidder-capers, labelers, jar bander's. These pieces of equipment hate being moved - and we move them a lot! The third line will all but eliminate the need to move these heavy boehemouths that ain't supposed to move around.
hold on a sec let me step back in time for a minute. When I moved to E-dub in 93 Nut butters was not the most popular job but for some reason (maybe not as social as hammocks or to noisy or oh yea its a factory job) but I always liked it so I became a roaster helper and worked at least once a week making some butter
At this time there was only one line we roasted and produced all of our products on what is now line 1
What is now line 2 was our cold storage but the writing was on the wall and expanding was getting important. Sooooo at the time we knew we had to get a larger cold storage building and we decided we could build it.
At the time Carlos was running a little crew of builders like a machine and most of us in the "crew" where learning and building stuff like mad! We tore down the old trustardy and built a new one and an exercise building all in that same summer.
We where on a roll and at this time the we was Carlos, David Clague, Che Hsh Na', Qix, Zeke and myself. We worked from 8-5 5 days a week and if it was raining we made hammocks because Carlos told us to and at this time we where all learning so much we did whatever he said. (we got over that a little.)
So we started on Siberia we built a retaining wall and poured a 60 by 64 slab in three 20' wide strips which because our come along was down they hooked up a harness to me and I dragged the screeds across the stretch. Ahh it was good to be young . We had the traditional party on the slab... well traditional for E-dub.
We had a wedding on the slab the groom wore a beautiful wedding gown he found in commie clothes and the bride wore a smile and some flowers in her hair the clergy for the event was Hoyt who was wearing his habit and had rewrote the vows in Dr. Suess language. Those in attendance where wearing roller skates and children where pulling wagons with tricycles. Ahhh hippies.
Now that the traditional "slab party" has happened were ready to move forward. We had the building delivered. It took all day to unload and many of us still are trying to forget that day.
Then of course the building of the building we had a crane that Carlos *traded* (give Carlos 4 hammocks and a case of peanut butter and he could come back with a giraffe if you needed one, just don't ask to many questions.) The crane was a little short and our bolt patterns where wrong. OH MY GAWD Carlos made a mistake. Well, I ended up lifting each pillar up 6 inches so that Qix and Zeke could scamble with tools to make the bolts fit.
Now this day goes down as one of the hardest days of my life. we really should have been injured that day. We where hippie-ing our way through heavy, heavy big steel things and we where scared. Lots of people watched that day. I always think about that, like did they know this was dangerous and where watching for the whole train wreck effect. Well, we built it. I left shortly before the completion and maintained my relationship with East Wind and I would come to visit and see the line 2 completed and the dry storage built for us.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when the expansion building was delivers after lots of prep. I sat with Zeke and Qix and Ryan and we kinda where gloating about our success's to date with the expansion. We have poured allot of concrete and have redone many things for the expansion. Our laughter went into nastolgia as it often does, the thought of how much of this some of us have have built and the fact that we all sit here 15 years latter and laugh about the fact that we are now the old guys. But its not about age or sex or knowledge, as we stop work so the kids can come by and play on the slab, as we yell at each other, as we congratulate each other, as folks come by and ask questions, as Kris comes by and does magic welding jobs as we finish our day and slowly walk home, or go to my Tuesday morning roast/roaster helper shift that I still do at the nut house. It's not about the radiant floor or the plumb steel frame or the drain holes in the floor, its about community... well, not just any community its about East Wind community -- our home.