Over the past half-century local, water-powered grain mills either converted to electric or shut down completely. In Union County, Pennsylvania there is one remaining hold out. Miller Curt Falk is doing something different – he is turning grain into flour and animal feed using water power. This beautifully shot short documentary offers a glimpse into the past through the day-to-day operations of the Grove’s Mill on Buffalo Creek. Something Different: A Working Gristmill offers a glimpse into a world that many people will never see in their lifetimes – a working gristmill running on water power.
Curt walks us through the process of using water to generate power and turning grain into flour and corn into corn meal. From cleaning to cracking to sifting each process is unique and done on machines that were built before the 1950s. Interwoven with the workings of the mill, Curt explains his family history and how he came to run the operations.
Something Different was created as a partnership between myself and two Bucknell Faculty members, historian David del Testa and mechanical engineer, Tom Rich. It screened at Maine International Film Festival, the Big Muddy Film Festival, and the Frozen River Film Festival.