I’m going out on a limb here …
I know – heady stuff.
Last year’s sweetcorn
Just over a fortnight ago I sowed a tray of sweetcorn. Now, sowing early is a common tendency in some veg. growers – when I say some, I mean of course,
I sowed tomatoes and chillies in January – big mistake. I didn’t have anywhere with enough light and warmth to keep the potted-on specimens. With a few, (very few), exceptions, they sulked and then, just to hammer the point home, died. A resow was required in late February. I sowed the french bean, Tendergreen, early. Big mistake. No germination, zippo, nada. That was a waste of seed, compost and loo rolls.
But here I am again. Back in mid March I sowed a tray of loo rolls with sweetcorn and kept the tray in the utility room. Outbuildings are mouse territory and sweetcorn is up there with peas as choice mouse gourmet meal for one. The seed has germinated. Now the tray really should have more light so I’m toying with putting it into the poly tunnel….
It could all end in tears.
The OH meanwhile has, more sensibly, dug bean trenches and put in the bean poles. And then dug potato trenches and planted a couple of rows of first early potatoes. And then made a lovely job of squaring off a compost bay which is now ready to be covered over with a length of woven back carpet and allowed to breakdown.
And yes, that is an old feather pillow…..
Apparently you can make popcorn from corn on the cob in the microwave – which I would try if I had a microwave. However, we haven’t owned one for nearly 15 years. Fifteen years ago we were renovating a house; the kitchen wasn’t installed for nearly 3 months and so the microwave was used a lot during those 3 months and we tried a lot of microwave meals. They were universally disgusting. The microwave became redundant and was recycled.
This year I grew some multi-coloured corn from James Wong’s range of exotics. The seeds were in a sale and I was tempted. I sowed the seeds and planted out and, amazingly, the raider rabbits left them alone. They grew. The colour of the ears was amazing a purple-red, like Burgundy. I went out and harvested some ears and plopped them straight into a pan of boiling water. Lunch would be ready in a matter of minutes. Yum.
I pulled back the green casings and removed the tassels. How pretty were those cobs. They consisted of a myriad of coloured kernels – not quite glass gem corn standard perhaps, (see http://shop.nativeseeds.org/products/ts363), but not bad. Not bad at all. Of course I should have read a little bit more about said corn. I served up lunch. The OH and I pitched in. ‘A bit like chewing gum’ said the OH. Yes it was. Not totally inedible but nothing at all like the super sweet, yellow corn on the cob. These multi-coloured cobs are best for popping or for flour.
I did look up to see if corn formed a base for chewing gum – it doesn’t.
Synthetic rubber does however – another thing I won’t be chewing in the near future.
I have been off piste from the blog. Having finally been press ganged into taking my PA1 & PA6 AW assessments I had to go and metaphorically lie down somewhere. I’ve never sprayed anything in my horticultural life but the requirement to hold the certificates comes with the job. C’est la vie.
Usually I’m up for a bit of foraging and I recently had the opportunity of hunting for mushrooms. In principle I quite like the idea of a fungi foray – in practice I’m not so sure about eating any fungi I’ve been involved in picking. In the event I preferred to have a lie in, (not my usual habit but I was recovering from exam tension of course). So the other half went off in search of the mushrooms with an experienced guide. Allegedly it isn’t the done thing to ask the guide if he has any attention of ‘going postal’ and poisoning the foray group. If I was going to be a bit critical I would say that the pickings looked a little light – but then there hasn’t been that much rain. Even so, I stuck to scrambled egg, sans mushroom addition, though apparently the mushrooms were very good and no sign of organ failure in the OH.
On the smallholding we have been moving into New World vegetable territory; the sweet corn and squashes have performed extremely well. Corn on the cob is the optimal fast food. Pan of boiling water, plop in the sweet corn, 5 minutes later – lunch is served. All that is required is butter and some freshly ground salt and pepper. Easy! Added sweetness can be had by grilling the corn to caramelise the sugars. Just the thing on an autumnal day. Elsewhere the ground has been cleared ready to sow the Hungarian Rye Grass as a green manure. This will be left to over winter before being dug in next spring. A little late for sowing – but the temperature hasn’t yet dropped too much so fingers crossed.
I have also been distracted by cider apples, or more precisely by cider apple trees. To keep the cost down I am limited to the varieties that are brought in from the top fruit supplier. They have a small range of cider apple trees but the varieties look promising – All Doer, Camalot, Dabinett, Dunkerton Late Sweet, Ellis Bitter, Hereford Redstreak, Sweet Pethyre and of course Kingston Black. I’m sure the other half will be able to do something with them
…..in a few years’ time.
Reading this week: Woodsman by Ben Law.