The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Drying sweet corn

Vegetable curing racks

Every year, we seed six plantings of sweet corn, which provide near-continuous availability of the treat over most of the summer.  And every year, one of those plantings gets away from us.

Drying sweet cornMark and I are such connoisseurs of sweet corn that we only eat the grain at its peak.  I start the water boiling at the same time I head out to the garden to pick and shuck the ears, then I drop the corn in the water and turn each ear once, removing as soon as the color changes from pale to bright yellow, a process that takes mere seconds.  The result is corn so sweet, Lucy begs for the cobs, which she completely consumes.

But if I miss that peak-taste window and our corn starts to turn starchy...then Lucy, Mark, and I all turn up our noses.  Instead, I shuck the corn and put it on our drying racks for winter animal treats.  In the past, I've offered dried sweet corn to our chickens, but this year, I think the ears will go to the goats.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Love the drying racks! Where'd you get them?
Comment by Nayan Fri Sep 19 07:56:02 2014
Have you tried baking or grilling the corn. In the shuck? That's our favorite. The corn steams in the shuck, and gets soooo tender. It's obviously easy, doesn't take too long, (about 20 minutes).
Comment by Emily from Bristol Fri Sep 19 08:42:57 2014
Hi Anna, I wanted to come by to return the blog visit and thank you for your kind comment on mine. I wanted to reply in detail via email, but couldn't find an e-addy for you. If you contact me, we can follow up.
Comment by Leigh Fri Sep 19 09:15:13 2014

Nayan --- Mark's step mom gave us those racks last year. They were meant to be display racks in a store, but work great for vegetables!

Emily --- We did try corn roasted in the shuck a few times, but I wasn't impressed. Of course, that was at someone else's house with store-bought corn, which we no longer consider worth eating. (We're so spoiled.) Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Comment by anna Fri Sep 19 12:25:35 2014
Me, too! I've been nervouscited all week. LOL!
Comment by Emily from Bristol Fri Sep 19 14:23:25 2014
Next season, why not plant some dent corn (field corn, the kind grown for agriculture) and let it mature and dry on the stalks. You could grow some Indian corn too for some variety and color.
Comment by Eric Rylander Sat Sep 20 13:41:24 2014

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