Bringing down the corn

Looks ready to me!

Looks ready to me!

Today was a momentous day.  I harvested the corn.  It is such a sad time, as the stalks become such a prominent feature in the landscape for such a long time and then within a few moments, everything was different.  But I guess that is the nature of a veggie garden, the view is constantly changing.

Looking a lot worse for wear and definately past it's first flush of youth

Looking a lot worse for wear and definitely past it’s first flush of youth

But not to dwell on the demise of a lovely outlook, it was a job that needed doing and needed doing today.  The leaves were beginning to be overcome by rust, the disgusting corn ear worm was munching its way toward my precious kernels, and most importantly the corn was ready and delicious.

Dramatic change

Dramatic change

Late in October I sowed 60 seeds, and had to resow a couple of times to get the full 60 plants, and then they grew tall – but not without their dramas.  I really need to come up with some serious windbreak solutions for next year as they were blown over a couple of times at a critical time for the pollen to fall from the tassels onto the silks.

Gosh!  That's loads!

Gosh! That’s loads!

A short burst of energy saw me tearing corn from the stalks, ripping the stalks from the ground and shaking my precious dirt back into the bed.  I left a few stalks standing as the ears weren’t quite ready yet, which somehow look a little naked standing in the middle of a bed once full to bursting with a block of tall corn.

My willing helper... earning his supper!

My willing helper… earning his supper!

I filled a large bucket with ears of corn, and convinced The Joeyosaurus to help me shuck them.  We put the peeled cobs into one bucket, the cob leaves into another bucket and the wonky ones off to the side.  In the past most of the crop was made up of wonky ones and I would eat them with determination – every last kernel.  I grew it – I will bloomin well eat it!  These days most of the crop look like shop bought ones, only taste loads better, and the wonky ones got delivered to some greedy chickens.  The bucket of cob leaves were given to some grateful goats who gobbled them up!

Greedy Goats who thought all their Christmas's had come at once!

Greedy Goats who thought all their Christmas’s had come at once!

Then inside I got my largest pot and set a blanch, cool, dry , freeze production line as I could only fit six cobs in the pot at a time.  I ended up with 54 cobs!  We have already eaten eight  and so that is a combined result of 62, not including the half dozen or so manky ones fed to the chickens and the five that are still hanging in there in the garden.  What a result!  I did a quick look at local store prices for corn and got roughly 80 cents a cob.  So I have about $50 worth of corn in my freezer which is so much nicer than store bought.

Delighted chickens

Delighted chickens

That is one of the best things about growing your own veggies is you can go from garden to freezer in a matter of hours, providing a store of summer goodness for the cold winter days ahead all from the initial start of a $3 packet of seeds.

Waiting for a cold winters day - or maybe tomorrow?!

Waiting for a cold winters day – or maybe tomorrow?!

Come again soon – the harvest is the reward of all the hard work and we are being rewarded well!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

I thought I'd show off and show you today''s tomato harvest.

I thought I’d show off and show you today”s tomato harvest.

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17 Comments on “Bringing down the corn

    • Hi Claire. There is nothing in the world to compare with fresh sweetcorn, and it’s a veggie I wouldn’t be without in my garden. Good luck with your crop this season.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  1. We are getting very little corn from our crop but I guess they were from a punnet of budget seedlings so I really can’t complain! Next year we will be growing our own from seed and our new experiment will begin! Isn’t gardening for food an amazing thing?! I can’t wait to trial all kinds of seeds and save the seeds from lots of what we are harvesting now. I have donated my entire bean cube (that’s all that’s left after the possums pinched all of the vegetation in as far as they could reach in the bird netting) to saving the seed pods for next years bean growing. I have learned a few lessons about staking tomatoes (or not staking them as the case may be 😉 ) and will be using weldmesh for the taller tomatoes and sturdy stakes for the bush tomatoes (foolish me thought “bush” meant self standing! 😉 ). I might even pick up a packet of black corn seed and give them a go! Why not? Its a world of possibilities when you grow your own and you can taylor it to your own requirements with a few eccentric choices thrown in just for the fun of it :).
    Those corn stalks and cobs are the stuff that my mum’s dreams were made of. She used to toss them into the base of new raised beds as a sort of fast decomposing Hugelkulture system that she opperated and they made for amazing worm fodder and a good air pocket to soil ratio for more soil microbes to get active. She saved the cobs and husks for the very same reason.
    The possums did snap off most of my tassels…I guess that’s why the corn didn’t set well? Again, next year… 😉

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    • Hi Fran.
      Once you’ve had garden fresh corn, you can’t go back to store bought. I grabbed some early season corn and even the kids noticed the flavour wasn’t right. One said it was “stale.” My corn, on the other hand tastes wonderful!
      I have had some pest ravage my popcorn, but was able to solve the problem by putting around a rickety knee high plastic fence. Obviously our pests aren’t as half starved or determined as yours! I have to say I am risking things by not having any sort of fence around my garden… one day this will be the undoing of me! But if I build a fence, then the garden won’t be able to grow any bigger….
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Hi Sarah, lovin the look of your corn…I planted 18 this year and most plants produced 2 cobs…am I lucky, or do most plants produce 2 cobs? I like the idea of planting 60 for next year, am just starting to figure out what our family needs annually. 🙂 Heather

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    • Hi Heather. This is the first year I have managed to get more than one cob per plant, but from what I can gather, the number of cobs depends on cultivar type. Generally if it is one that takes longer to mature then you are more likely to get more cobs. I think I need to check the seed packets more closely next time. My harvest should give us corn in our meals once a month until the corn comes ripe again next year! Yum.
      Enjoy your corn.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. Hi Sarah, congratulations on your bumper crop.

    Can I ask how you blanch the ears? Never thought about freezing corn as whole ears. We tend to pick and eat over the space of a week to ten days, depending on quantity (last year we got 6 out of 40 plants!!!! previous years we have had 40-50) but if we could blanch and freeze then we could spread the enjoyment out.

    Cheers

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    • Hi there.
      I blanch them by putting them in boiling water for about 4 minutes and then into really cold water to stop the cooking and then I leave them to drain for as long as possible so there is no excess water or the corn will just go soggy. Then I pack them into snap lock bags and chuck them in the freezer.
      Hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. P.S. Sorry should have made it clear that, I tend to pick as needed over the course of 10 days to 2 weeks but this is very risky in terms of pests getting the remaining ears, or weather and wind damage. Picking the lot in one fell swoop and freezing would be a good option.

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    • Hi there. Freezing corn works out really well as I don’t think it would go down well if I had to make the family eat some much corn in a short space of time, and this way we get to have a taste of sunshine throughout the winter.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. Hi Sarah,

    What do you do with your excess tomatoes? Do you bottle them? I’m keen to try this but my hubby is worried I’ll kill everyone with botulism. If you make sauces and chutneys etc – how do you make sure they are safe?

    I don’t have any fancy equipment, like a canner or the like. Just wondering what others do?!

    🙂 Thanks!

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    • Hi Sharon. I just simply freeze my excess tomatoes. I don’t even wash them. I pop them into a large snap lock bag, chuck them in the freezer and I’m done.
      I used to make sauces etc, but we never used them and I was still buying cans of whole peeled tomatoes.
      Now I essentially have a freezer full of whole peeled tomatoes because all I do when I need them is run them under the tap and the skin slips off and I can add them to whatever casserole, soup or sauce I’m making.
      No mess, no fuss and easy as!
      I still make tomato relish because it is really yummy.
      Hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      Like

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