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Pippin Williamson

Lover of fine beer, nature conservationist, and former tech founder

Solar pond

This past August my family was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 124 acres of beautiful pasture and woods land went up for sale next to us. It was the property that bordered our existing 11 acres so we were given an option to expand our acreage significantly, and we jumped on it.

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Striving for calm at work

It’s crazy at work.

We hear that all the time from friends, family, co-workers, and ourselves. It’s one of the constant trends in the idle chatter that happens at get togethers, family reunions, and meetups of all kinds.

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Fiber internet, aka triumphs of rural broadband

Two years ago I wrote about the Trials and Triumphs of Rural Broadbad. The post detailed some of my experience in obtaining a decent internet connection in a pseudo rural part of central Kansas. In the end, after six months of work, my wife and I were able to get a decent connection that gave us peace of mind and allowed me to work from home. It was sufficient enough to enable other common luxuries, like Netflix, Hulu, and some light online gaming.

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Black cherries in the Sandhills

Shortly after moving back to the central Kansas Sandhills, my dad and I discovered a Black Cherry tree in the woods near our house. At first we thought it was probably the only one but we then quickly discovered there were not only dozens of trees, but hundreds spread across a few acres. We found trees that were just a few weeks old to trees that were easily 20-30 years old, ranging from a few inches tall to 50+ feet.

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Trials and triumphs of rural broadband

Moving back into the country has been on my todo list ever since I left it 10 years ago. A little over a month ago, that goal was achieved when my family and I moved from our suburban home to a house three miles outside of city limits on 11 acres of land. Two of the significant changes with our move are that our neighbors are now quiet, grass-loving cows and our options for internet connections are severely limited.Continue Reading

Green space

Abundant research has been done that shows the value of green space within our cities. The presence of green can have a profoundly positive effect on the mental and physical health of a city’s citizens. Unfortunately the total green space within cities tends to shrink as a population grows. While there are examples of cities that have embraced the benefits of green spaces, it’s a rarity in our rapidly developing world.

While each of us can have only minimal impact on the global environment, I do believe it is in our interest to strive for maximum personal impact, even if that impact is minute.

Having been raised in a nature-rich environment miles from the nearest city, and having recently returned to a rural home, I’m greatly pleased to be making strides towards a positive impact on the amount of green space in my city of Hutchinson, KS.

Earlier this year I noticed a 3-acre lot available for sale in a popular neighborhood that was highly desirable for well-off individuals and families.

The first thought I remember upon seeing the plot of land is “I hope that remains open”. The unfortunate reality, however, is that most non-developed land in the city quickly gets transformed into new housing developments or commercial business space. Both of these are intrinsically important to the well-being of our cities,  but so is green space.

For those that have visited New York’s Central Park, it’s easy to see just how valuable that is to the city and its residents. While few parks will ever be on the scale of Central Park, I firmly believe we need to all strive to encourage more such communal spaces where people and animals alike can enjoy the beauty of nature within city limits.

Rather than allow this 3-acre lot to become new cookie-cutter houses, I made a choice. I will do what I can to make an improvement to this world and the city I live in (up until a week ago).

On Friday, July 21, 2017, my company Sandhills Development, LLC, purchased the property.

This purchase has zero economical benefit to me nor my company, but it allows us to make a commitment to bettering our community and the world.

I do not yet know what the exact future of this space will be, except one thing I am certain: it will remain green.

We all need more green space.

Grace Hill Winery

As the brewery project my brother and I are working on progresses, the time comes to buy equipment, some of which includes a large series of wood barrels from wineries and distilleries from around the country. Today I drove to Grace Hill Winery, a local winery just an hour from the brewery, to pick up the first of many barrels we hope to purchase in the future.Continue Reading

Remember babbling brooks

At one time or another, we all face difficult decisions. Today I was faced with one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching decisions I’ve had put before me. Shortly after making a final decision, one that I’m sure will continue to haunt me for months to come, I remembered something I wrote many years ago.

As poetry goes, it’s not anything special, but the message within it gave me pause and solace.

We should always remember babbling brooks
And not worry so for yesterday
Nor the mysteries of tomorrow
For with every day will come hardships
And every night new fear
But we should always remember a babbling brook
And know even over rocks, life may run smoothly

Life has a way of throwing rocks in our way and we climb over them, stop in their shadow, or crumble under their weight. Brooks, however, always go over, so it’s good to remember babbling brooks as we worry for yesterday and fear tomorrow.

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