Monday, December 2, 2013


Post by Farmer John

Our farmer friends George and Julie are moving. It is a sad occasion because their encouragement and example of how small farms work in our area was vital to me taking the big step to full time farming. George is ready for retirement so they bought a few acres in Missouri along a nice clear steam so he can slow down. They are in the process of liquidating some  farm machinery and crops. He called me up and asked if I wanted some non-GMO open pollinated ear corn for my livestock. I said sure. 

George grows a few acres of corn every year to fatten a few hogs and feed his chickens. He has the equipment to plant, cultivate, and pick his few acres from the seat of a tractor. It is a pretty slick operation. This picture below shows us unloading corn from the gravity wagon onto the elevator and into the back of the truck. All of this equipment is older than I am but still works well.

Once the corn is loaded into the back of the truck we can slowly drive it back to the farm. A truckload equals about a ton. To measure the corn weight we made a couple of trips to the gravel yard truck scales.

There is an old corn crib in the upper building at the farm. Corn cribs have slatted sides and are the perfect dimension for drying ear corn. At one time, there were several other corn cribs around the place but they have rotted back into the ground over the years. This corn crib is still several sizes larger than I need. I don't have an elevator like George so I have to unload the corn by the shovel full.

Here is Mollie in the crib with all of our organic corn. We have to wait about a month until all the corn is dry before using. My neighbor has an old hand crank sheller we can borrow to shell the corn. Once it is shelled I can take it to town to be ground into chicken and pig feed. I am excited to feed  my animals local organic corn and will save some seed from this batch to plant an acre or two of corn next year.


  1. "Corn crib" is a phrase I grew up hearing on my grandpa's small farm in IL, but I never really knew what it meant or its intended function until today. Mostly, it was where all the miscellaneous old farm equipment was stored. (As in, "oh, check the corn crib for an extra belt for the tractor.") Thanks, JBBF!

  2. Very good post. I look forward to seeing your organic corn growing in your field next summer.

  3. Lorraine in WisconsinDecember 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Great photos! This was a lot of work and a lot of handling of the corn. But what a great way to feed your animals healthy food, to get into raising non-GMO crops, and to carry on the work of your friend.

  4. Nicely written, John. You make what is hard work seem like fun!
    Too bad about George and Julie's move. You will miss them and their sage advice...and the hat!

  5. Do you still have that little turn it and shuck it device near the crib? We used to play with it as kids with the cobbed corn. And is this the type of corn called "parched corn" that you place in the skillet with grease and salt and warm it - it doesn't pop but it's delicious!


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