Archive for the ‘values’ Category

Farm hour: garden and orchard chores

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

orchard chores

Vince got the chain saw and took down this dead tree in the upper field. This and a broken branch from the pregnant cedar became firewood. The smaller branches are in a pile to be composted.

The plantable orchard space is growing with every farm hour. It took maybe 30 minutes to get this tree out of the way. Thirty minutes here. Thirty minutes there – adds up to over 40 cubic feet of leaf and grass matter and 15 gallons of seasoned manure from the barn in the garden compost.

We can almost see the entire field as we begin mowing areas from where we cleared rocks and hidden tree branches. Then there’s starting the orchard compost, setting up rain barrels, getting some Shiitake mushroom logs going… the months away are small chores for now.

Categories: farm, food, values Tags: , , ,

Farm hour: harvesting leaf mulch

October 19th, 2012 No comments

leaf mulchThis is one Fall and Winter chore I think will really pay off no matter what we decide to plant in the orchard.


We’re going to need lots of good mulch, and I think we might have enough ingredients on the farm. I’m not really sure, but each evening farm hour gets us closer.

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around how I can possibly produce as much mulch as we’re going to need for the garden and orchard, and then I found gold.

This evening’s haul was a dark, nicely decayed, heavy leaf matter raked from under some huge oak, hickory and maple trees that grow in the upper field fence line. There is no telling how much of this is here.

Categories: farm, food, life, values Tags: , , ,

6th Annual Rescue Ride Poker Run and Bike Show

September 6th, 2012 No comments

This Saturday September 8, hundreds of bikers will stream through the hills and back roads of Cannon and surrounding counties for a good cause. It’s the 6th Annual Poker Run benefiting the Cannon County Rescue Squad, and Short Mountain Distillery is proud to be a stop on this year’s fundraising ride.

Bikers will start at the Courthouse on the square in Woodbury, TN at 10:00am with the last bike in at 4:30pm. Each stop will present riders with a playing card for each $10 hand you purchase. Cannon County Rescue Squad is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit dedicated to saving lives in Cannon County and Middle Tennessee.

After the ride there will be a bike show, awards and a corn hole tournament. If you would like more information on how to participate, click here for a flyer, or call 615-684-3314.

Short Mountain Distillery brings regional tourism to Cannon County

August 30th, 2012 No comments

Billy Kaufman knew he had something more than just another moonshine to share with the world. The three moonshiners he knew before seeking the public’s support to build the distillery in 2010 had a story to share that was unique to the South and Tennessee in particular. And more than that, it’s the story of survival in hard times. It’s Cannon County’s story.

Open for just a few months, Short Mountain Distillery has logged more than 5,000 visitors who come to experience our unique whiskey making history and heritage. They come from Woodbury and surrounding counties as well as visitors from several states, all taking home a craving for the moonshine that reconnects them with the artisan and craft spirit of America.

Here is an excerpt from an article by Dan Whittle after his recent visit to get a “snort on Short.”

Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick echoes the optimism of “new revenue” being triggered by Short Mountain Distillery’s presence: “Woodbury and Cannon County have long been known for our crafts’ men and women, particularly for our unique basket weaving traditions. Now, the Short Mountain Distillery brings another longtime Cannon tradition to light, the making of moonshine, but now, it’s legal.”

“A spinoff benefit of the Mountain’s increased tourism, which brings clean dollars that require no increase in school rooms, roads or taxes,” the mayor added. “We’re beginning to see more bus tours and family tours coming specifically to historic Cannon County and Woodbury… ranging from our picturesque Public Square to the majesty of Short Mountain.”

Short Mountain Trucker’s Pride corn stands 14 feet tall

August 16th, 2012 1 comment

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.

Celebrating life and love at the distillery

SHINE ON: A special toast to newlyweds Andrew Travis and Shrena Henderson who held their reception at this distillery this past weekend (our first!). You can’t beat sharing good food and drink with friends and family. Here’s to many years filled with life and love from all of us at Short Mountain Distillery!

Inside the Tennessee Squire Room at Jack Daniel’s

Tennessee Squire Room
A slightly blurry photo of the Tennessee Squire Room at Jack Daniel’s Distillery

You may not have realized it before, but there’s a secret room at Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN that not even the tour guides are allowed to talk about. It’s called the Tennessee Squire Room.

It was built 12 years ago as a 25 x 14 room trimmed and floored in pine and densely packed with pieces of history shared by other Tennessee Squires. The website for Tennessee Squires is password protected, and if you weren’t aware the Tennessee Squire Room even existed upon your visit you won’t find the distillery staff willing to help you discover it. It’s that kind of secret.

On my first visit to the Tennessee Squire Room, I was asked to sit at the back of the main lobby. Moments later, a woman appeared and asked if I had a tour. When I told her I had, she smiled patiently and said nothing like it was my turn to guide the conversation. I took the hint and told her I was a Tennessee Squire. “Right this way,” she said, briefly mentioning she would have waited all day for me to say so.

To become a Tennessee Squire, you gotta love Jack, and you have to be nominated by a current Squire who can only nominate one person in their entire lifetime. I have Bartt Baird, a former co-worker at WKRN-TV, to thank for my nomination.

As a Tennessee Squire, you get a very nice gold-embossed deed to a small plot of land and a certificate making you an honorary citizen of Moore County. You’ll occasionally receive letters from locals asking permission to let their cows graze your land or problems with skunks or possums. You also get to hang out in the Tennessee Squire Room and share the Jack Daniel’s experience through the many items left by other Squires. You’ll find one I left among the challenge coins, and I’ve probably already told you too much.

Fermentation workshop at Short Mountain Distillery

Short Mountain Distillery invites you to learn some of the basics about food and beverage fermentation from fermentation expert and author Sandor Katz! This workshop is one of the first in a series of food and beverage workshops we’ll host throughout the year.

WHAT: Basic food and beverage fermentation workshop with
COST: $15 ($40 if you’d like a copy of Kat’s latest book)
WHEN: July 14, 2012 – 9a.m. – 12p.m. (three hours)
WHERE: Short Mountain Distillery – 119 Mountain Spirits Ln., Woodbury, TN 37190
LIMIT: 15 people (contact John Whittemore to reserve a spot – 615-216-0830)

Katz was recently featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross talking about his latest and most comprehensive book on fermentation called The Art of Fermentation. In 2010, Katz was also recently featured in a five page spread in the New Yorker Magazine.

This basic fermentation workshop is a shortened version of Katz’s multi-day,  hands-on workshops he gives around the world. You’ll learn how some of your favorite foods are actually fermented and how you can prepare and store your own fermented foods such as cheese, beer, chocolate, tea, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, salami, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, yogurt and much more.

Opportunity for leadership at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce

tnchamberToday’s news that the head of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce is out is an opportunity for the state’s business community to choose the kind of leadership that reflects the business values and practices of our state’s very best job creators.

Deb Woolley, president and CEO, has left in accordance with the terms of her contract, effective May 31, according to the chamber. Wayne Scharber, the chamber’s vice president for environment and taxation, will serve as interim president amid the search for a more permanent replacement.

“We are going to build on the Tennessee Chamber’s 100-year track record of success, with new programs and fresh ideas on how better to serve Tennessee businesses and industries,” Bill Ozier, chairman of the chamber’s board, said in a statement.

In May of last year, Chamber leadership under President Deb Woolley came into question by state business leaders in multiple press releases from members like Alcoa, Nissan, FedEx, Comcast, AT&T, Embraer, KPMG, and UnitedHealth. The questions followed the Chamber’s promotion of HB600, a bill championed by back-benched politicians and lobbyists seeking to stop cities and municipalities from implementing the kind of nondiscrimination policies that separate the nation’s very best businesses from the mediocre. The bill embarrassed the state with national news portraying the bill and those promoting it for exactly what they are.

As the Chamber seeks the kind of leadership our state deserves, I hope it considers the important questions that were asked by business leaders, including Short Mountain Distillery in an open letter published in May 2011:

My concern is how the very best brands and job creating members were represented by the Chamber. What assurances do other businesses have that Chamber leadership will adequately represent the values of its best members? What can the Chamber do to ensure the values of the Chamber’s most valued brands wont be co-opted by personal political agendas causing members to issue embarrassing press releases to create distance from Chamber mistakes?

Today’s news hopefully begins answering these questions. Tennessee’s business community deserves leadership that lifts our state up as an example, not one that embarrasses our Governor and our state’s best business leaders with the values of our very worst politicians.

Trucker’s Pride – organic open pollinated corn

Our Moonshiners tell us Trucker’s Pride is about as good as it gets when looking for a variety of corn to make shine, but it’s a little hard to come by, so we’re making our own.

In this video, Short Mountain Distillery’s John Whittemore talks about the choices we make in farming practices. Special thanks to Jeff Schuler for shooting and sharing this video.