Mills Farm makes grits in northeastern Clarke County.
The grits, along with corn meal, are ground up in a mill invented by Tim
Mills and turned with the power of a mule. They are the makers of Red Mule
Grits, which has found its way into several fine restaurants, including the
Five & Ten
in Athens and the Ritz Carlton on Lake Oconee in Greene County.
These grits, like the corn meal and polenta they make, are made from organic
corn, with no additives.
"We grind to order and whereas most stuff already packaged has a long
shelf life, this has to be kept refrigerated because we don't put preservatives
in it. It's natural corn,'' Alice Mills said.
"The Ritz Carlton was getting their grits from a place in South Carolina,
until they found they could get ours and get the product in a fresh fashion.
And he (the restaurant manager) liked the taste,'' she said.
The Mills live on a farm off Harve Mathis Road, where they also raise organic
vegetables. The small mill where the corn is ground is powered by Luke, a
red mule. The mill is certified by the State Department of Agriculture and
there's not another one like it. But mule power doesn't mean it's a mill
like a great-great-grandfather would have worked.
mule Luke powers the mill that grinds the corn for Red Mule Grits.