Saturday, at the Broad River Rural Hertiage Fall Farm Show, we got to run the Grist Mill!
This is a small grist mill that is owned by a member of BRRHA, Greg Coker. The mill came from Banks County, Georgia were it was used to grind mostly corn and really dry wheat.
Greg had grown some fantastic red corn! He wanted to grind it to see how it would do. So the first thing we had to do was shell the corn kernels from the cob.
Just so you know, the easy way to shell the cob is to use a corn sheller. But as Wayne Holloway said, "You only had a corn sheller if you lived in town. We shelled our corn by hand because we lived in the country!!"
So we...well they did, my hands couldn't hold out...shelled the corn off the cob by hand.
Knox even helped out! You can see the awesome red corn on the ground by the bucket and the shelled cobs too. And if anyone was wondering, we didn't use the cobs in the port-a-potties, but we did think about it!!
We had a corn sheller but the sheller was missing the clamps to hold it on a box or bucket. So Hubby decided to hold it while Knox tried putting the corn through it. Well...
That didn't last long! It was just plain easier to do it with our hands. Hubby was working himself to death! The sheller was also killing his knees! Look at the picture and you can see that he was using his knees to help hold the corn sheller.
Once the corn was shelled, it was time to get the mill going.
The corn was put in the hopper (the red funnel thing on top of the mill). The tractor you see in the picture is getting set up to pull the belt on its PTO unit that will run the mill.
This is the view from the tractor, down the belt to the grist mill. In the foreground you see where the belt is on the PTO unit of the tractor. Newer tractors do not have these large PTO units anymore. This was a very common way that most equipment on a farm was run.
Once the mill got going you can see the dust it made!! Look up from the yellow bucket in the picture and you will see the corn meal coming out of the shoot and into the metal bucket.
The whole time that the mill is running, Greg is constantly checking the meal. He is checking to see if adjustments need to be made to keep the consistency of the meal. He can also make the meal a finer grade or a more coarser meal.
There is nothing like fresh ground corn meal! I brought some home and made cornbread with it. I'll be sharing my recipe for fresh ground corn meal cornbread soon. You'll have to come back and see what the cornbread looked like when it was cooked...
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