The garden looks like a small child with his front teeth missing. You look out over it, and recognise something is different, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. But it is quite a fundamental change. One of the biggest features of the summer season has gone.
The sweetcorn is no more. With much reluctance I harvested the ears and removed the stalks. I hate this bit because they are such a prominent feature in the landscape of my garden and all the while they are waving there tasselled tops, summer is in full swing. They start off quite insignificant and other crops race ahead to fill the garden. The tomatoes and the peas tower above them. They steadily grow while the peas come and go and the tomatoes reach their desired height and focus more on adorning their baubles in bright colours.
Finally, the day comes when it is time to harvest this majestic crop. It does come bitter sweet as the there is great joy in the sweet and incredible flavour that comes from this cheerful crop. A single cob of corn can bring the sunshine into a cold winter day. Eaten straight off the BBQ steamed in its husk makes a summer evening memorable. But it is also tinged with sadness, taking down the corn is a harbinger of doom… summer is nearly over.
Having said that, there is still corn in the garden. There are a few in my teaching garden, the one I grow alongside those who garden alongside me. There is a thicket of poorly spaced corn that were heeled in to a spot in my leafy greens bed, waiting for a friend to take them, but it never happened and so they’re still there. There is also the popcorn in the odds and sods bed. I had to wrap string around the lot as the stormy wind of the other night had them leaning off in a jaunty angle which wouldn’t do for the pollen falling upon the silks. And of course we can’t forget my Painted Mountain corn in the pumpkin patch. I’m so looking forward to trying these.
As I begun the task of removing the stalks the kids saw just how much fun it was to bash the root ball against the fork to remove all the dirt, they got stuck in and took over the job. I raced ahead of them removing ears and loosening stalks as they enthusiastically yanked the remains of the crop from the warm earth.
The choicest ears had already been removed and devoured greedily, or grabbed hastily moments before heading away for the weekend. Fear of theft by the rat had prompted this frenzied harvesting, and with only a tiny window of time before we had to leave. As Hubby the Un-Gardener was calling “Honey we are going to be late” and starting to beep the car horn, I snatched the plumpest cobs and lobbed them straight into the deep freeze – husk and all. I hope they’ll be ok. Wouldn’t it be a complete tragedy if in an effort to save them I actually caused their loss.
So as the sun begun to set on the garden it would seem summer is beginning to set for the season. It hasn’t been the best of seasons, but it is the one I’ve had and I’ve made the best of it and have actually have had quite a good harvest.
Come again soon – that harvest is in desperate need of processing.
Sarah the Gardener : o)