Posts Tagged ‘Woodbury’

Farm hour: making dirt

November 29th, 2012 No comments

orchard compost pile

It’s 152 degrees in the new orchard compost pile. This is the pile with pine needles and oak leaves added for more acidity. It’s layered with wood chips, horse manure and several gallons of rain water lightly sprinkled on each layer. This pile will become mulch for the blueberries in the Spring.

Farm hour: climbing the hill

November 21st, 2012 1 comment

4 wheeler
Grandpa’s old 4 wheeler

Farming is hard work, and it’s harder to imagine doing it without help. Hours make days like help makes it done, and it took a lot of both to plant the orchard last week.

I squeezed a month of farm hours into a week with some vacation time and figured out how farmers can go through so many chicken eggs every day. You get real hungry! After shoveling 3-4 tons of material (wood chip mulch, manure and dirt), tilling, moving rocks, water and planting 25 trees and bushes, breakfast looks good any time of the day.

4 wheelerNoah let me borrow his truck. We may have enough mulch to last 2 years now! Tim gave us the pine needles we needed to keep the blueberries happy. Len let me hop the fence for the cow manure our compost piles needed to come to life. Benny did the same, letting me drive all over his farm shoveling up horse manure. It all adds up to tons of help, literally.

But the one thing that came just in time to really bring the help together was a gift from my step dad: Grandpa’s old 4 wheeler. It’s got its problems, but it was the week’s work horse hauling everything up and down the hill: water, trees, machines.

New things can make you feel good, but old things can really make you feel loved. Grandpa used that 4 wheeler for about 10 years all over our farm in Smith County. They were his legs for a soul no where near done climbing that hill. Every time I open the barn and see it there I feel a little bit of him, and that has its own way of making every farm hour that much more special.

Farm hour: heating water with a compost pile

November 1st, 2012 No comments

There are a few videos on YouTube that will show you how to make your own outdoor hot water shower using the heat from a compost pile. The one above is the first one I saw using the Jean Pain method. I was surprised to learn not only how hot the pile can get and for how long, but that you can actually exchange the heat to water for other uses.

compost heatHeat is a natural byproduct of all the biomass interactions breaking down the pile. A hot pile can be around 160 degrees for a few days.

Our compost thermometer arrived today, so I checked the piles and found despite the recent freezing temperatures, the garden compost pile is at a toasty 97 degrees. The orchard pile is not doing so hot, but we’re about to add more fuel (leaves, manure, grass clippings and water) later this evening.

We do have plans for an outdoor shower, but we may use more readily available solar heat until we really need something like this.

Farm hour: quantifying what’s possible

October 30th, 2012 No comments

leaf harvest
One of three tarp loads of oak, maple, hickory and walnut leaves we gathered up for the orchard compost.

composting leavesThe orchard “mulchery” is set up. It’s 20 feet long, five feet wide and about 4 feet tall. If half the space is used, that should be 200 cubic feet of mulch. We added about 80 cubic feet of compacted, harvested leaves to use throughout the winter and started a pile with some of them today in the middle bin.

To start, I used a lot of the leaves, 15 gallons of cow manure from the neighbor’s field, grass clippings from today’s upper field mowing and about 8 gallons of water.

Water is going to be an issue until I can figure out an easier way to get it to the orchard. By the time my two five gallon buckets got there, I had lost about 4 gallons to sloshing.

upper fieldWhat’s Possible? I measured the space and determined if we use the entire space for blueberry bushes and apple trees, we’re looking at around 175 blueberry bushes and 32 apple trees. Using non-organic yields, the potential looks like this:

  • Apple:10-20 bushels per tree is 320-640 bushels of apples, 960-3200 gallons of cider or 13,440-26,880 lbs. of apples
  • Blueberries: 15 lbs. per bush is 2,625 lbs. of berries
  • Market: at current market value: $26,000 – $47,000

What’s Practical? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. We have about an hour of daylight each night and two weekend days of winter farm hours. We can’t eat all that, and we probably can’t process all that for others. Can we do this?

We’re thinking of starting with 8 apple trees and 10 blueberry bushes, but I’m mulching as though we’re doing it all.

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: , , ,

Celebrating community values in business

January 25th, 2012 No comments

Short Mountain Distillery President and CEO Billy Kaufman addresses the local Woodbury Chamber of Commerce at their annual dinner on the topic of celebrating community values in small business.

Billy talked about how our corporate philosophy, the Golden Rule, guides us to do right by our neighbors by keeping business as local as possible, from the corn we use to our skilled labor and manufacturing equipment. Billy also talked with local business leaders about the opportunity before us to share our community’s values with a world of tourists hungry to reconnect with America.

Our needs create jobs

November 18th, 2010 No comments

jobcreator300I got a call yesterday from a guy in North Carolina who makes a very cool 750 ml glass jug bottle. His pitch was simple. It would make a great container for Tennessee moonshine, and best of all, it’s made in America.

Ever since voters in every precinct of Cannon County voted Nov. 2 to allow us to build Short Mountain Distillery, the calls and emails have provided some perspective on the character of America in a time of great need.

You can hear the eagerness in America’s voice. It’s not defeated. It’s not the voice of fear you hear on cable news. It’s the sound of America doing what we do best: work.

It comes in calls from small businesses who will make the bottles, labels, boxes and barrels, and emails with resumes expressing big hopes to be one of the folks we’ll need to build and produce a locally owned American brand of whiskey.

Countless hands will work to build some part of Short Mountain Distillery. Some may not realize it as they become busy filling our orders, making lunch for a tourist, or passing by acres of local corn we’ll need. Still more will never see our impact in the lives and economy of our community and our great state. But it’s there.

Our needs create jobs: employees, architect, farmers, builder, concrete, steel, consultants, attorney, accountant, boiler, forklift, box truck, fermenters, dry wall, pot still, bottles, bottling machine, labels, paint, barrels, racks, computers, point of sale systems, boxes, grain, air compressors, signage, kitchen sinks, security systems, water, power, prep tables, insurance, phones, landscaping, office furniture, merchandise, advertising, and much more.

Follow our American story on Facebook.

Billy Kaufman talks distillery jobs and tourism for Cannon County

August 17th, 2010 2 comments

Billy Kaufman and Distillery Organization Group’s Jim Massey talk with News Channel 5’s Kim Gebbia about distillery jobs and tourism on the November ballot in Cannon County. You can read the full story at WTVF-TV CBS Nashville.

Billy Kaufman’s property hasn’t seen a drop of grain liquor since a distillery ran here before prohibition. He wants to see it flowing again at his own craft distillery within the next few years.

“My dream is that we employ hundreds if not thousands someday,” said Kaufman.

Supporters say a craft distillery could also bring in tax dollars and tourism to the county. They add it’s a way to keep small farmers afloat.

“Historically distilleries are the most efficient way to turn crops to cash,” says Jim Massey, an advocate for craft distilleries across the state.

Short Mountain Distillery reaches petition signature goal

Cannon County residents helped us reach our petition signature goal at Saturday’s Celebration on the Square in Woodbury, TN. Hundreds of county residents weathered the brutal heat to celebrate the completion of renovations to the county’s historic courthouse.

A couple of days after the August elections, we’ll turn in the signatures we’ve gathered to place the ballot question before Cannon County voters in November. The referendum results will decide whether or not voters will allow an American brand of distilled spirits to operate on Short Mountain and bring¬† jobs, tourism, and revenue to the local economy.

With your support in November, Short Mountain Distillery will honor and preserve a long history of distilled craft spirits from the hills of Cannon County that at one time was said to be the finest in the country. Over the next few months we hope to give you a taste of our rich agricultural heritage here in Cannon County and help honor a way of life we hope to share with tourists from across the nation and around the world.

If you didn’t get a chance to sign our petition, you can catch us election day August 5th gathering more signatures than we need to make certain the good people of Cannon County can vote for their future in November.