The Power of Corn

The Power of Corn

February 11th, 2022

Our North Stonington farm is quietly hibernating under a blanket of snow as we prepare for the upcoming season with hopeful anticipation. While awaiting warmer months, our team has been meticulously processing a bounty of Jimmy Red and Hopi Blue corn from last year’s harvest.

Corn production is generally associated with millions of acres of mono-cropped America. Those fields are heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers, causing tremendous damage to our soils. These repercussions have led to the growing movement towards regenerative agriculture. When grown with thoughtful and strategic intent, corn serves a valuable role in sustaining healthy production systems by providing delicious, nutrient-dense food.

Our practices differ significantly from this ubiquitous standard through a polyculture approach. Seasonally, New England weather patterns can drastically fluctuate between hot, dry summers and long periods of drenching rain. For the best chance of a successful harvest, we plant a diverse field of heirloom corn varieties, such as Jimmy Red and Hopi Blue, that flourish in both wet climates of our Southeastern states and the arid heat of Southwestern deserts. This focus on crop variation helps to guard against the vagaries of environmental, disease, and pest pressure.

We’re still learning which varieties perform best on our Connecticut farm, and our culinary teams are in the early stages of developing innovative recipes that make the best and most creative use of our estate-grown ingredients. This year we’ll be integrating both King Philip and Otto File corn, both of which originated right here in New England and represent our deep historical connection to native lands and traditions. Profoundly beautiful and remarkably delicious, these varieties of heritage corn represent another short step forward in our long-term agricultural vision to re-define healthy New England food systems through community-based, regenerative practices.

Harvested, shucked, and shelled by hand, corn will become the centerpiece in a wide range of beers, spirits, and culinary products. From masa/tortillas, in-house ferments, and lagers to cornbread and polenta, you'll experience corn on many new levels in mind-blowing formats throughout the coming months here at Trillium.