After much deliberation and excitement, I picked the first ears of corn today! I plucked an ear off, tenderly tore the husk and silk off and bit right into a DELICIOUS cob of corn! I could feel the magic of the earth carouse through my body, an exciting rush of natural sugars triggering my fantasy of rolling around the corn field devouring every ear in sight.
It made me giddy! I had to wait a few hours to drive I felt so high from eating it right there on the spot it was grown! I am surprised, because corn can be a tricky crop to grow and bugs love it. Organic methods of corn bug control are few. Because of the pollination requirements the wind is the only force that can pollinate corn, unlike open flowered crops like squash in which bees’ bumble around drinking nectar from flower to flower inadvertently pollinating the crop.
Since I don’t have even an acre to plant on, I was worried that I may not have planted enough close together. I grew peas in with the corn to provide a natural nitrogen boost to the soil and corn is a natural trellis that supports vines. I went ahead and planted sunflowers there, too, just for artistic effect. The choices of corn varieties are many so I decided to plant just one kind at that time to ensure proper pollination. The following 4 successions of corn plantings I had 50% success unfortunately.
Then the time came where I had to decide what to do with the two side shoots that occur on each stalk as the plant begins to gain in height. UC Davis and many other agricultural website I consulted advised to leave them on but with no explanation as why. Many of my Latino friends advised to get rid of them immediately, it was bad for the plant. So, I left some on a few and got rid of a few.
Months later the side shoots I left on formed ears that are short, stumpy and flat that popped out of their husk before any thing else was ready. The bugs loved those. Incredibly, the regular ears developed normally with NO insects! Nature made a little catch crop! The corn makes those homely little pretend ears of corn to protect the good stuff. Smart plants! Good information to know for the home gardener!
My co-worker, Mirella, at Lafond Vineyards, told me that she makes a creamy corn and pasilla soup with queso fresco cheese. The way she described it made my mouth water. I personally cannot get the corn home to cook it, I end up eating it raw the moment I touch it. I promise to restrain myself enough to bring to the Bistro and Market Deli for you to enjoy!