Organic Heirloom Grains from Laura's Mt. Folly Farm

Most of Laura’s family is from the Deep South, and she grew up eating grits.

“Cheese grits casseroles were a favorite for brunch,” she says. “We had sweetened grits for breakfast, grits casseroles on Sunday, and plain grits with salt and butter for weekday suppers.”

“We southerners had corn, not wheat, for our meals. We’ve been gluten free for 2 centuries,” she says.

Organic heirloom grains, cornmeal, grits, and flour from Laura Freeman's Mt. Folly Farm.

Not only is corn a staple in the south, but seed savers and local farmers have made sure that the old varieties remain.

At Laura’s Mercantile, we feature Hickory King corn, an heirloom white corn, which we’ve milled into cornmeal, for cornbread, corn sticks, hush puppies and corn muffins, and Bloody Butcher corn, milled in the same fashion.

“I like cream-style cornbread,” says Laura. “My aunts, who I learned from, each have their own way of doing things. You can hear Mary Carolyn tell you how, right here.”

Cornbread made with organic heirloom cornmeal from Laura Freeman.

One serving suggestion which has rescued many a hostess is this: for dessert, split open a corn muffin, warm it in the microwave (a nod to modernity), douse it with limoncello, and top with a scoop of ice cream. “It’s decadent,” says an older family member whose eaten plenty of desserts.

Spoonbread also is a classic polite-company southern dish.

We’ve featured several versions, all requiring bringing milk to scalding, which means near boiling…but don’t let it boil!

Organic Heirloom Grains from Laura Freeman's Mt. Folly Farm

If you are feeling adventurous and want to go deep south, try Cracklin’ Cornbread, made with pork fat. The same can be said of Johnny Cakes.

Pinto beans and cornbread are real country cooking, and with a few flourishes the dish ventures into the territory of soul food. Many classic southern recipes were developed by black cooks, now acknowledged and celebrated for their singular achievements.

For its land base, corn belongs to our hemisphere. A separate culture of corn started south of the border, and we’ll be publishing Mexican and South American recipes later this year.

To start, though, Laura chose recipes from some of her mother’s favorite cookbooks, such Charleston Receipts, published by the Junior League of Charleston, South Carolina; Bluegrass Winners, published by the Garden Club of Lexington when my mother was a member; Holiday Recipes, published by the Birmingham, Alabama, Symphony  and compiled by my Aunt Elberta, and Recipes from the Homeplace, published by the family of Melford Cleveland, who is married to my Aunt’s sister.

Grow Some Corn!

Meanwhile, Laura has hand-packed open-pollinated Bloody Butcher corn seeds, which will be shipped free with every order of Mt. Folly grains.

Bloody Butcher Seeds

“With this crisis, my friends are talking about growing food again, and I want to give our good customers a little start. Here in Kentucky, we plant corn around Derby Day, the first Saturday in May. While the Derby is cancelled this year, we still have corn,” she says.

Even though some city people think farming is a no-brainer (Michael Bloomberg said, “I could teach anybody to be a farmer…you dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, you add water, up comes the corn.”), we hope you’ll give organic gardening a try.

These Bloody Butcher seeds are open pollinated and will breed true. The corn doesn’t turn a deep red until it is drying down. You’ll see!

“Have some fun, and I hope you can get outside!” says Laura.

Feel free to email Laura at Laura@laurasmercantile.com with gardening or other questions. She isn’t leaving the farm and will have plenty of time to answer them.

Most of Laura’s family is from the Deep South, and she grew up eating grits.

“Cheese grits casseroles were a favorite for brunch,” she says. “We had sweetened grits for breakfast, grits casseroles on Sunday, and plain grits with salt and butter for weekday suppers.”

“We southerners had corn, not wheat, for our meals. We’ve been gluten free for 2 centuries,” she says.

Not only is corn a staple in the south, but seed savers and local farmers have made sure that the old varieties remain. At Laura’s Mercantile, we feature Hickory King corn, an heirloom white corn, which we’ve milled into cornmeal, for cornbread, corn sticks, hush puppies and corn muffins, and Bloody Butcher corn, milled in the same fashion.

“I like cream-style cornbread,” says Laura. “My aunts, who I learned from, each have their own way of doing things. You can hear Mary Carolyn tell you how, right here.”

Cornbread made with organic heirloom cornmeal from Laura Freeman.

To start, though, Laura chose recipes from some of her mother’s favorite cookbooks, such Charleston Receipts, published by the Junior League of Charleston, South Carolina; Bluegrass Winners, published by the Garden Club of Lexington when my mother was a member; Holiday Recipes, published by the Birmingham, Alabama, Symphony  and compiled by my Aunt Elberta, and Recipes from the Homeplace, published by the family of Melford Cleveland, who is married to my Aunt’s sister.

Grow Some Corn!

Meanwhile, Laura has hand-packed open-pollinated Bloody Butcher corn seeds, which will be shipped free with every order of Mt. Folly grains.

“With this crisis, my friends are talking about growing food again, and I want to give our good customers a little start. Here in Kentucky, we plant corn around Derby Day, the first Saturday in May. While the Derby is cancelled this year, we still have corn,” she says.

Even though some city people think farming is a no-brainer (Michael Bloomberg said, “I could teach anybody to be a farmer…you dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, you add water, up comes the corn.”), we hope you’ll give organic gardening a try.

These Bloody Butcher seeds are open pollinated and will breed true. The corn doesn’t turn a deep red until it is drying down. You’ll see!

“Have some fun, and I hope you can get outside!” says Laura.

Feel free to email Laura at Laura@laurasmercantile.com with gardening or other questions. She isn’t leaving the farm and will have plenty of time to answer them.

Organic heirloom grains, cornmeal, grits, and flour from Laura Freeman's Mt. Folly Farm.

One serving suggestion which has rescued many a hostess is this: for dessert, split open a corn muffin, warm it in the microwave (a nod to modernity), douse it with limoncello, and top with a scoop of ice cream. “It’s decadent,” says an older family member whose eaten plenty of desserts.

Spoonbread also is a classic polite-company southern dish. We’ve featured several versions, all requiring bringing milk to scalding, which means near boiling…but don’t let it boil!

If you are feeling adventurous and want to go deep south, try Cracklin’ Cornbread, made with pork fat. The same can be said of Johnny Cakes. Pinto beans and cornbread are real country cooking, and with a few flourishes the dish ventures into the territory of soul food. Many classic southern recipes were developed by black cooks, now acknowledged and celebrated for their singular achievements.

For its land base, corn belongs to our hemisphere. A separate culture of corn started south of the border, and we’ll be publishing Mexican and South American recipes later this year.

Organic Heirloom Grains - Hickory King Grits

MT. FOLLY FARM SPECIALTY GRAINS

From USDA certified organic grains grown at Laura's Mt. Folly Farm. Try these with the recipes below, hand-selected by Laura.

Bloody Butcher Cornmeal

$7.99

For cornbread and corn muffins with a hint of color and lots of flavor, try Bloody Butcher Cornmeal. Developed in Virginia in the early 19th century, the open-pollinated variety is known for its nutty flavor.

Our Bloody Butcher corn is USDA-certified organic from Laura’s Mt. Folly Farm, and is milled on Meadows Mill, a stone mill from North Carolina.

Each bag of cornmeal weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups. Because our products are stone-ground, they need to be stored in the freezer.

Bloody Butcher Grits

$7.99

“The Bloody Butcher Grits, wow, they were amazing! I think the best grit I ever had.” -Chef Mark Richardson, Lexington, Kentucky.

For color, taste, and a rich consistency, try our freshly ground Bloody Butcher Grits. An heirloom dent corn, the grits are cream colored with dark red speckles throughout.

Each bag of grits weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups. Because our products are stone-ground, they need to be stored in the freezer.

 

Buckwheat Flour

$7.99

A grain which is allowed during the maintenance phase of low-carbohydrate diets, buckwheat is my go-to grain when I’m trying to manage my husband’s diet. It is a low-glycemic, high protein, and packed with vitamins. Indeed, buckwheat is a “pseudocereal,” much like quinoa.

Not only is it preferable for our diet, but it tastes good. Learn to cook this grain, and everyone will be happy.

Each bag of flour weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups. Because our products are stone-ground, they need to be stored in the freezer.

Hickory King Cornmeal

$7.99

Hickory King “old fashioned” cornmeal. Hickory King is an open-pollinated dent corn originating in the 19th-century south. Famous for grits and white corn meal, this corn variety is loved for its large kernel and its robust corn flavor.

“Even though I’d heard it said for many years, it wasn’t until we grew and milled some Hickory King corn, using a small hand mill, that I tasted and so knew the difference. I ran all over town telling people, ‘There really is a difference!’ That winter I bought a Meadows stone mill, and we started milling our own,” says Laura.

Our Hickory King corn is USDA-certified organic. The white cornmeal is great for cornbread or corn muffins, and the grits are well-loved.

Each bag of cornmeal weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups. Because our products are stone-ground, they need to be stored in the freezer.

Hickory King Grits

$7.99

Hickory King “old fashioned” grits. Hickory King is an open-pollinated dent corn originating in the 19th-century south. Famous for grits and white cornmeal, this corn variety is loved for its large kernel and its robust corn flavor.

“Even though I’d heard it said for many years, it wasn’t until we grew and milled some Hickory King corn, using a small hand mill, that I tasted and so knew the difference. I ran all over town telling people, ‘There really is a difference!’ That winter I bought a Meadows stone mill, and we started milling our own,” says Laura.

Our Hickory-King corn is USDA-certified organic. The grits are well-loved and our Hickory King white cornmeal is great for cornbread or corn muffins.

Each bag of grits weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups. Because our products are stone-ground, they need to be stored in the freezer.

Turkey Red Wheat Flour

$7.99

Turkey Red wheat was first introduced in Kansas by Mennonite farmers in the mid-1800s, from what is now Ukraine.

Our Turkey Red wheat berries are stone milled, and the flour is whole grain. By using a stone mill we’re able to retain the nutritional content available in the wheat berry. Our resident artisan bread baker uses this flour in his naturally-leavened, hand-mixed loaves. He believes using a sourdough “mother” really helps the natural flavors (rich and earthy, slightly caramelized) of the wheat shine.

Each bag of flour weighs 1.30 pounds and contains 5 cups.

*Note: Since this flour contains wheat germ and wheat germ is an oil, this flour will not keep for as long as standard commercially-milled white flour. Keep your flour in airtight container and store it in the freezer.

Grits and Cornmeal Recipes
Grits and Cornmeal Recipes from Laura Freeman and Mt. Folly Farm