Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of posts on Sunday. I thought October was going to be a bit calmer, what with all our poultry butchered and the garden not producing “as much”, but the days filled up quickly and November is no exception, so I will do my best to keep up with you all.
In the last year Grady and I have tried some new ventures… or maybe I should say “adventures”. Since we wouldn’t have much extra time or money we needed to choose ventures that were either limited by work time or purchased items. Growing our own popcorn was one of them.
This spring while we picked out what we wanted to plant in our garden, Grady picked up popcorn seed and said, “Let’s plant this too!”. We had decided to use the whole area of our garden this year (I’d say 30’x 100′ or there about), and so we picked out pole beans, melons, winter squash (including pumpkins), and sweet corn to plant in the area we hadn’t used the year before. I was a little skeptical that we’d actually get any kernels that would be edible, but we had talked before about trying it out and we had plenty of room, so we got one packet. We planted about 5 rows at the end of our corn patch in the popcorn and once the plants were about 3″ we top dressed them with brooder compost from the year before (we did this with everything we planted this year and are sure it helped everything grow better), and then during the early summer we tried to water it regularly. Thankfully we had a perfect amount of rain later on; because as the days went on, and I got busier, the watering of the garden was NOT at the top of my list.
Fast forward about 2 months ago and we harvested the sweet corn (from 300 seeds we picked around 250 ears!), and the popcorn plants were still green and soft. Neither of us knew exactly what we were looking for, but we thought we were supposed to let it go until it started drying on the stalk, leave it for a month and then pull the ears, shuck them and hang them to dry for another month. So we left them.
We tested some every once in awhile and we probably could have picked them sooner, but last week we finally harvested all the ears and started the drying process inside. Some are more dry than others, but most of the kernels that we have popped have been just perfect and we are very happy with our end result.
What new ideas have you tried this year?