In terms of non-harvest work to be done in the fields there has been some general mowing and clean up that I've been meaning to get to recently, but because of the dry weather we've been able to put it off and pay attention to some of the more pressing work that's needed to get done. Today that meant harvesting our different varieties of popping and grinding corn from our experimental dry farming field. We haven't watered them a drop since we planted everything in the beginning of summer (though we did do some weeding), but they seemed to have done OK even without the extra help and a few goose nibbles here and there. Not a huge harvest, but for how much we worked that field it's not bad. It's beautiful stuff too, the picture above shows some of the awesome variation that you can get in the kernels even within the same variety!
The three ears on the far left are from a variety of grinding corn called "Roy Calais", though Josh thinks the interesting blue one in the middle is either from cross pollination, or a rogue seed from a variety called "Painted Mountain". "Roy Calais" is mainly yellow in color with red being the off-type, but Josh and the folks at Skyline Farm (where the seed came from) have been selecting for the red color because of it's increased cold hardiness (editors note: actually Skyline farm was selecting out red and keeping yellow because of the cornmeal color. We ended up with some of their cast off red seeds, which happen to also have better cold soil germination). The coloring is only skin deep though, and creates a nice red speckled effect when it is ground into flour. The ears in the middle are our popping corn variety called "Amish Butter"... ...mmmmmm. It has very small, pointy kernels that are supposed to be slightly corny and very tasty when popped. This hopefully will be one of the first processed and packaged items to come out of Our Table in the near future so be on the lookout for the tasty little kernels! And, last but not least is the polenta corn on the far right of the heirloom variety "Otto File" (pronounced Oh-toh Fee-lay), or Italian for "8 row". This corn produces 8 rows of large, orange kernels per ear and has been prized for it's flavor and nutritional quality since it was grown by Native Americans hundreds of years ago before it was brought to Italy in the 19th century.
I hope you enjoyed this little lesson on a few types dry corn, I know i sure had fun harvesting them and reading up on their history and characteristics. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy it to the next level when it's on your stove and in your bellies! Until next time, keep your ears shucked and your eyes peeled for more Our Table news, stories, and updates. Thanks!!
The Corny Blogger,