By now you may realize that Laura’s Mercantile is part of an effort to build a regenerative agricultural system. For our part, this involves our regional Laura’s Homestead Alternatives accounts and our online store. In addition (this is Kentucky, right?) it also includes a distillery, Wildcat Willy’s!
One of the key practices of regenerative agriculture is planting cover crops after the cash crop is harvested. Not only do cover crops — which grow all fall, winter and spring – photosynthesize and sequester carbon, but their root mass below ground increases soil health. We’ve been doing this at Mt. Folly since 2011, but the practice has been adopted by only 4% of farmers because of poor economics.
Enter American Farmland Trust, Brown Foreman, the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, and the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund. With a new program to grow whiskey rye for Kentucky distilleries, they are breaking new ground. Most of the corn for our bourbon distilleries is grown in the state, but most rye is grown in the northern plains, Canada and Europe, including former members of the Soviet Union.
Here at Mt. Folly, we have some experience growing rye, which is marketed through Laura’s Mercantile and the distillery. But this gives us new, expanded markets, and we are thrilled!
Below is a link to a blog post I made about Mt. Folly and Regenerative Ag. Hemp is part of our program and now so is rye. We grow rye on land that once was owned by Daniel Boone. I hope you’ll check out the site to learn more. Laura’s Blog
USDA-certified organic hemp is an important crop for us, and customers who support us are most important of all.
Next Wednesday, we’ll be having a virtual (because of COVID) Hemp Harvest Party, something we’ve done in person for the past 3 years. It will be on facebook live. Stay in touch with me by email. Look forward to “seeing” you soon.
PS – Virtual Hemp Harvest Party,
October 14th, 2020 Starting at 3pm!