Monday, August 29, 2011

Tea Pop Chop Not: Corn

I imagine there will be quite a few of these. But mistakes and failures are how we learn how not to do things again. Failures and mistakes should be shared. I always loved in the movie, Meet the Robinsons!

We'd all like to pretend we are flawless and how much easier to do that then in a blog? But I'll admit it! This is the disappointing tale of the corn:

For many weeks, Jorg and I have watched proudly as our corn shot out of the ground and grew to be 7 feet tall. It was my favorite part of my UH garden landscape. So lush and green.

Sookie would play in our mini corn field. I always thought of her as the lion in Secondhand Lion and it made me laugh. Jorg raved about the corn to everyone and swore corn was the only thing that grew in our soil so well.

Sookie in the Corn

We harvested our corn and found corn that was very disappointing. Whether we'd picked it too early or too late or the ants got it and contributed to it I don't know. I do know it broke Jorg's heart and he's sworn off growing corn ever again. But with a little studying, I think he will come around again by next spring, when the sting comes out of it.

The best looking corn
How most of the corn looked, we composted most of it.

I know that our soil conditions might have been to blame for this. Corn is from the grass family and so need soil rich in nutrients, not our sandy rocky river bed soil. It also needs to be planted in between mounds, not on top of them. Next year, we will have compost for it. Our compost pile is so rich and beautiful! That's one thing we are proud of that's hard to do wrong. We may not do it as well as it should be. I am sure there are plenty of ways to speed up the composting and I have read them but eventually it composts. Soon a years worth of dark nutrient crazy compost will be gracing our raised beds!

Though Jorg was disappointed in the quality of the corn, I convinced him to grill it and put it in the salsa he canned. The corn rehydrated in the salsa and gave it a wonderful texture.

The stalks of corn are dried pale yellow husks that remain as a reminder because they are so strongly rooted that I cannot remove them from the ground. They'll have to be dug out and chopped up for compost. Then we'll build a small raised bed and fill it with lush soil for next years eggplants, which are doing so well!