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Harvesting the Popcorn

October 13th, 2011

Last week my mom and I started clearing out the pottager that we share. The popcorn was the first thing to go, as it was ready to be harvested. This year I planted ‘Amish Butter’ popcorn from Southern Exposure. I also planted ‘Genuine Cornfield’ bean, a special variety of shade tolerant pole bean to grow up the corn.

I was hoping to harvest the pole bean seeds to reuse, but they had just started to bloom and there were only a few small green beans on them. I picked the few beans and the plants were added to the compost pile, along with the corn stalks. The beans grew well in the shade of the corn, they just didn’t have a long enough season or the weather wasn’t right for them this year

All the ears of popcorn were harvested and thrown in the attic for a week to dry a little more, they were already fairly dry at harvest. A week later, I shucked them and laid them out on racks to dry further.

We got some pretty nice looking popcorn. It was interesting to see the difference in size and quality of the ears. Some were beautiful and perfect, while others were tiny. I’m not quite sure what happened here, perhaps I should have thinned the corn more, or maybe a little more fertilizer should have been applied since corn is a heavy feeder and they were planted in a new area of the garden. Next year I plan on experimenting by spacing them a little farther apart and planting clover underneath them as a nitrogen fixing cover crop.

All-in-all I’m happy with our harvest. Mr Chiots and I occasionally enjoy popcorn as an evening snack and it’ll be nice to know I grew it myself every time we pop a batch. I hope this popcorn is as good as the strawberry popcorn we grew two years ago. With the amount we harvested, we should have enough popcorn for the next two years.

Do you grow corn in your garden? popcorn, field corn, or sweet?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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