After spending many an hour cranking the arm of a grain grinder, I was ready for another solution. I didn’t want an electric version and I didn’t feel I have the DIY savvy to hook my grinder up to use pedal power on my own. Thankfully, the great folks at GrainMaker have developed a kit, called the Bodine Motor, that’s super quick to put together. It connects the existing grain grinder here at our office (or any GrainMaker grinder) to the back wheel of an old mountain bike (or any bicycle you have on hand).
The kit is basically a stationary trainer that holds a bicycle on a stand. When the bike is on the stand, the rider’s pedal power turns a shaft that is connected by a rubber belt to the grain grinder’s fly wheel. After about 30 minutes of handywoman tinkering, a coworker and I were able to successfully put the bike onto the grain grinder. With minor adjustments we were able to turn some ‘Floriani Red Flint’ heirloom grain corn into some wonderful
cornmeal (that I later used to bread and fry chicken — yum!). I ended up creating a little over 3 cups of freshly ground cornmeal, shown at left, in about five minutes of riding, making this an efficient and equally delicious use of pedal power. We’ve left it set up in a hallway for others around the building to use and enjoy the (freshly ground) fruits of their labor.