Grown Here at Home: Bedford County farm uses antique farming methods to cultivate corn crop

Published: Jul. 26, 2019 at 2:08 AM EDT
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Jimmy Kent’s name name inspired the family business – Jimmy’s Cracked Corn. It’s just one of those things that happened.

“I had no idea. We started the farm 15 years ago because we wanted to eat well. We wanted to know where our food was coming from, what our animals were being fed. It developed from there,” Jimmy said.

They grow bloody butcher corn.

“It is an heirloom corn and we raise it without any herbicides or pesticides,” explained Jimmy.

It’s cultivated using antique farming methods. Jimmy runs his own business as an engineer, He uses those skills to draw up blueprints and then make the parts needed to restore or add on to the old farming equipment so they can put it to use. Jimmy explains how they’ve made changes to the equipment.

“We have added the corn planter. We’ve changed it over to stainless steel bins, which we made in the shop. And changed it over to a stainless steel frame. The blue parts you saw on the cub are the little covers to protect the young corn plant from the action of the cultivators, so we don’t cover up the plant,” he said.

People love seeing the equipment in action. It’s the sound that gets them every time.

“It’s nostalgia. It brings them back to when they were a kid, when the times were simpler,” Jimmy said.

The corn is ground fresh every Friday night. They use it to make pancake mix, corn flour, and grits. But their best seller is the corn meal. They’re cornbread recipe is a hit with customers.

“When they tried the cornbread they found out that it had a good texture, it was moist, it had a unique flavor, that you couldn’t buy in the store and the product just started to sell,” Jimmy said.

If you haven’t tried Jimmy’s Cracked Corn, you can have a crack at it yourself. You can find their products at the Forest Farmers Market, Southern States in Bedford, Ayers in Forest, and Lynchburg Grows.

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