The corn we use in our mill is grown by our friend and neighbor Buster Norton. Buster, a tobacco farmer all his life, still uses horses for much of his field work. His corn seed, dating back to the early 1900’s, is a white heirloom variety. As the local saying goes: “white corn is for folks, yellow is for critters.”
At the bottom of this page, is a video with Buster Norton made by Warren Wilson College
More About Our Corn
The variety of corn we grind is “mostly Hawkins Prolific mixed with a little Hickory King.” Both of these heirloom varieties are “open pollinated” — a horticultural term meaning that the plant will produce seeds naturally. When these seeds are planted they will reliably reproduce the same plant as the parent. Also know as “dent corn” because of the small indentation (dent) at the crown of each kernel on a ripe ear of corn, these plants grow up to 15 feet tall and produce ears as long as 16 inches.
Dried mostly in the field, the corn is harvested each November by an vintage tractor-drawn corn picker (and by hand) into a corn wagon. From there it is taken to rest in the corn crib. Sometime in the Spring, the corn is “shucked” and “shelled” and bagged in 50 pound sacks and put into storage until ground.
Dec 17, 2014
Short documentary of Madison County tobacco farmer Buster Norton.