Sunday, October 23, 2011

Corney Comments

My patch of field corn has matured and is beginning to "dry down", or in other words, the corn is drying out so that it can be harvested and stored for the winter. My variety is called "Reid's Yellow Dent", which is a open pollinated heirloom type that used to be grown a lot in the early part of the last century before hybrid varieties became the norm. It may not produce like a hybrid, but I can save the seed from this crop and plant it again next season., which you can't do with a hybrid. I grow field corn in part to supplement the feed that I give my chickens. It's also is good for exercise, and frankly, it's fun to watch corn grow and develop (It shows you what an exciting guy I am!!). Judging by what corn is going for a bushel this year, it has worked out to be quite profitable!

 I have been getting quite a bit of corn smut this year. I'm not sure if it was because of the cool wet spring that we had or what. It looks discusting!

 But this year I have been getting a nice crop of big healthy ears!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkins for a Little Pumpkin!

Growing pumpkins at my place has always been a challenge. Some years I can set out a bunch of plants in the spring and most will survive to produce a excellent crop and I would have a bunch of pumpkins to pass around. This year was not one of those years. Most of the plants that I put out died during the summer, with only one plant surviving to produce fruit. I was able to give a nice pumpkin to my little neighbor girl, and her smile was worth all the effort and frustration.

I hope that I will be able to either find a variety that won't get the blight and die on me, or be able to protect my plants better. This year the variety that I grew this year was "Howden".

Diggin' Some Spuds

Our potatoes are also doing real well this year.  We have already dug up a bunch, and the remainder are still in the ground waiting their turn. Potatoes seem to grow well in my soil, but they can be a bugger to dig out due to my heavy clay soil.

Aw Shucks!

 We have a excellent crop of sweet corn this year, with plenty of great ears. Here my son Adam reluctantly show off his haul of bi-color "Sugar and Cream" from Mountain States Seeds. This has proved to be a very reliable type, though I think that I like "Ambrosia" better! This year I had four different plantings, and I have had fresh corn for over a month. My kids really like sweet corn, but they hate shucking it for some reason!

When we have a surplus, my wife likes to freeze what we don't eat fresh. She just cuts them off the ear, blanches them in boiling water for about a minute, and them puts them in freezer bags and places them in the freezer. So far we have had pretty good results doing this.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beets and Garlic

 My first clove of garlic harvested this season. This clove was planted last fall.

We have been harvesting beets for awhile now, and eating tons of it. My wife made a beet salad from the Detroit Dark Red and Golden beets that I grew. My daughter and I have dubbed her salad "Boozy Beet Salad" because of some cooking sherry and wine vinegar that's in it. It was a good salad, but it was more in line with the "girl food" that my wife enjoys so much, and not quite my thing. I think that beets are some of the most useful crops that one can grow, because you can use the whole plant. After my spring crop is done, I will plant more beets for a fall crop.

Ogden Utah Farmer's Market

On Saturdays during the summer, the city of Ogden Utah has it's farmers market, so we decided to pay a visit. It was a very good time with vendors offering fresh produce, herbs, salsa, jams, jellies and all sorts of yummy food. They even have western shootouts and all kinds of food to eat.

We were there to buy produce, but my wife Micki could not resist dropping some coin on some watches with decorative bands. We had to go back to get more cash!

My wife and daughter Erianne looking over some fresh produce.

 Some of the selections were pretty darn good for this early in the season. I really enjoy getting some of the fresh herbs that I cannot grow in my garden at the moment.

My daughter Erianne and pup Maya posing next to one of Ogden's semi-famous painted horses that are all around the city center.

What is it with chicks and cowboys?

Garden of Weedin'!

July is the time that our annual battle against the pigweed and it's bretheren commence. Luckly the whole family pitches in,  but at some times more willingly than others. It's a good thing that I'm bigger than most of my kids!

We were able to each pick two rows of corn to weed, and were able to get the chore done quickly, but with the usual whining from the kids. They don't think that weeding is cool for some reason!

We found these eggs tucked in our field corn!

My wife Micki and son Adam working in the corn after sunset.