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Enjoying the Fruits of our Labor

December 31st, 2011

I mentioned earlier this fall that I grew popcorn in the potager I share with my mom. I’ve grown ‘Strawberry’ Popcorn before, which produces tasty little deep red ears of corn that are beautiful while growing in the garden and after harvest. The seeds for this variety were from Botanical Interests. This summer I decided to try ‘Pennsylvania Butter’ which I purchased from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

Our popcorn from this year has been up the attic drying since we harvested it a few months ago. We usually save it until winter and shell it while we’re watching a movie. We ran out of the popcorn from the local farm earlier this week, so we spent an evening shelling our homegrown popcorn.

One of the best things about growing your own popcorn or sourcing heirloom popcorn from a local farmer is the taste. Once you make the switch you’ll be wondering why you ever ate the plain yellow popcorn from the store, which tastes kind of like puffed corn cereal. If you’ve never eaten heirloom popcorn I’d highly recommend giving it a try, but be warned, you’ll never be able to eat regular popcorn again!

The weather this past summer was not kind to corn, we didn’t even think we were going to get any for the pantry. About fifteen percent of the ears were moldy because it was so wet towards the end of summer, luckily the rest was fairly nice. The ears were rather small, but I wasn’t home to give them a dose of fertilizer in August. Next time I grow popcorn I’ll underplant with clover to provide lots of nitrogen and add some kelp at planting time. Considering it was only my second year growing popcorn I was impressed with my harvest.

I’ve had a few questions from readers about making stovetop popcorn, which is the only kind we make here since we don’t have a microwave. It tastes so much better than other cooking methods and it’s a great way to add some extra coconut oil and pastured butter to your diet (if you haven’t heard about how great these are for your health head on over to the Weston A Price Foundation and read a few articles, once you do you’ll be searching for ways to add them). There’s a how-to video over on the Your Day Blog so you can see how I do it. We’ve been enjoying some this week while we enjoy the 007 Days of Christmas!

Are there any harvests from your summer garden that you’re especially enjoying now?

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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.