Organic Holiday

mcewen and sons FINALMcEwen & Sons brings stone-ground products to your table. 

Written by Jan Walsh 

Photography by Robin Colter


Family holiday meals are the highlight of the year at my house. I make them both healthy and delicious with McEwen & Sons certified organic products. From grits to popcorn, McEwen & Sons organic products are a staple in my fridge all year. But during the holidays, when the house goes from empty nest to full of family, I stock up. Organic McEwen farm eggs and grits make a memorable breakfast. My cornbread and cornbread dressing start with their cornmeal, making this a dressing deserving of our Willie Bird free range, organic turkey. And for snacks—while we play Monopoly or watch movies and football—we pop McEwen’s organic popcorn with organic grape seed oil in our old-fashioned Whirly Pop. 

The McEwens’ sustainable farm is located in Wilsonville, Alabama. The corn in McEwen cornmeal, grits, and polenta is planted with non-GMO seed and farmed organically. The USDA organic seal verifies that no irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were used.

McEwen & Sons’ cornmeal, grits, and polenta come from dried kernels of corn, which are ground into one of three textures—coarse, medium, or fine. When the corn is ground, the coarser particles become grits, while finer granules are used for polenta. Their cornmeal, grits, and polenta are available in three colors: yellow, white, and blue, depending on the type of corn used. While yellow and white corn are more common, Native Americans have been growing the ancient and revered blue corn for hundreds of years. And fortunately, McEwen & Sons has a source for organic blue corn. Given it is an open pollinated flint corn, blue corn is hard, sweet, and has a higher protein content than other corns. It is also high in lysine, thereby making it a complete protein.

The McEwens also grind their corn the old-fashioned way. Their stone burr grist mill grinds the corn between two large rotating stones. The stones crush and grind whole grains slowly at low temperatures to maintain the grains’ nutrients during the process. Unlike modern roller milling and hammer milling, nothing is separated or added to the natural grain. The germ, oil, and bran remain intact, along with the natural freshness, flavor, aroma, and nutrients.

McEwen & Sons also raises free-range chickens in an antibiotic-free and hormone-free environment. They have many loyal customers, including some of the best restaurants in the Birmingham area. I pick up their eggs at the Pepper Place Market, where Frank McEwen has a booth. McEwen’s organic grits, polenta, cornmeal, rolled oats, flax seed, and fish batter are available at many local markets. You may also shop for McEwen & Sons products online at

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