Jimmy Simpson told us early this Spring to wait on planting. “Knee high by July,” he said. “As long as we got it in by June 15, we’ll be fine.”
We were getting worried we were planting our organic corn late this year after seeing our neighbor’s corn knee high by June.
We’re trying not to count our ears before they’re harvested, but we’re pretty darn proud of our 14 feet tall organic open pollinated Trucker’s Pride corn. Not everyone is so lucky this year, so we’re counting our blessings instead. We have to admit it’s a combination of a little luck and old-timer’s wisdom.
To be perfectly honest with you, it’s actually our second planting this year in the same field after we discovered the first attempt in late May never put a single seed in the ground.
We found that out the hard way, but it made us miss the drought conditions that destroyed most of Tennessee’s corn crops. Better late than never, especially when you’re making moonshine. It also allowed us to use seed corn Jimmy had personally hand-selected and shelled for next year. His mules didn’t seem to mind the extra work either.
Video from our Spring Planting 2011 at Short Mountain Distillery.
Saturday morning April 14 starting around 10, bring the family and a couple of lawn chairs out to the distillery to watch us disc our organic corn fields with 12 mule teams from the Middle Tennessee Muleskinner’s Association.
We had so much fun discing the fields last Spring with mules that we decided to do it again this year. It might take a little longer to get done, but every thing about it just feels right to us. See y’all Saturday!
John Whittemore steers the corn picker and gravity wagon to harvest. We’re harvesting our first seven acres of organic corn today and hoping to get at least 50-60 bushels of shelled corn per acre. The corn will be shelled and stored on site and later stone-milled at Still House #1.
Starting next year, the farm will plant 20 acres of rotational organic corn crops on the 300 acre farm while securing the rest of the distillery’s grain needs from local farmers. We’re aiming to complete our USDA Certified Organic process next summer to preserve the land and water for generations to come.
John Whittemore shares how organic and permaculture farm practices used by Short Mountain Distillery honor our agricultural heritage. You can hear the guys from the CO-OP putting together our grain bin in the back ground.
Short Mountain Distillery planted 7 acres of organic corn you see featured in this video. The test went very well, and John is busy planning 20 rotational acres of organic corn on Billy’s 300 acre farm for next year.
John Whittemore got the corn cultivated on what was likely the hottest day we’ve had so far. This is where our moonshine and whiskey are born, just like it has been on Short Mountain for well over 100 years.