Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trailblazer: Miller Alisa Crawford, Holland, Michigan Tulip Time Festival

Author and Miller Alisa Crawford
Hello and welcome to the Girls Succeed blog.
Today I want to introduce you to an amazing woman, Alisa Crawford. She is a miller, a person who grinds grains to produce flour. She is the only American miller certified by the Dutch Council of the Netherlands where she learned her trade. 

The 250 year old machine she uses to do the grinding is an authentic Dutch windmill which was dismantled and moved from the Netherlands to Holland, Michigan in 1964, then re-assembled and opened to the public in 1965. It is the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the U.S. Known as DeZwaan (the swan), the windmill was the last one allowed by the government of the Netherlands to leave the country. 
De Zwaan Windmill
De Zwaan means graceful bird.
The windmill is the focal point of the Windmill Island Gardens, a gorgeous place in the City of Holland displaying the Dutch culture and of course, beds of gorgeous flowers. 

When we visited Windmill Island and took the tour of the windmill, I was amazed to learn of the work Alisa performs as a miller. She is a strong, feisty woman whose job consists of climbing up and down the windmill blades (reaching 125 feet at the top blade of the windmill, pushing the blades to face the wind via a wheel that turns the cap on top, and lifting fifty pound bags of wheat and pouring them into the chute to slide down to the mill stone for grinding. I won't even go into the maintenance that she does to keep the windmill in good shape. Definitely a GRRL in my book.

Tulips in my yard.

This week is the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan, and visitors from all over the world come to see displays of the gorgeous varieties of tulips brilliantly blooming in enormous flower beds all through the city. Parades, shows, authentic Dutch dances, and food are showcased throughout the week.

If you ever get the chance to visit Holland, Michigan, you'll love the area. Be sure to take time to visit the windmill and you might get the chance to talk to Miller Alisa Crawford working at the windmill.

Do you have tulips in your yard? Have you ever visited a windmill?
Please leave a comment below. We love to hear from you!

I shared more pictures of Holland and Windmill Island Gardens on the J.Q. Rose blog. Click here to see the pictures.

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