I picked the popcorn today. Last time I planted popcorn, two years ago, I picked it on the 22nd of September, but this was ready to go. It was nicely dried and the stalks were starting to fall over. I planted the same variety as last time–Tom Thumb, a miniature variety with four foot tall stalks–but the weather was just not the same this year. With the help of my daughter I picked 69 small ears.
Popcorn off the Stalk
Both my kids helped me shuck it. My daughter noted several times that the ear she just revealed would the be the perfect size for a doll, although it would have been less tasty than the corn we purchased from the Conant farm (whose last day was today, and we missed it). After peeling back the husks, we ended up with a pile of golden ears.
Each Ear Equals One Batch of Popcorn
Last time I bagged the ears in a mesh bag and left it to dry for a bunch of weeks. The children were so excited to start collecting it in a bowl, however, that I totally forgot in my own excitement. So we took it off the ears and we marveled at the bowl of kernals. It will need to dry more, indeed, but in a mesh bag that is hanging in the right spot, that should happen easily.
This Will Warm Us on a Winter Day
It was easy to grow. The hardest part was keeping the birds away long enough for it to sprout. They love to yank it out just as it pushes green from the soil. The first time I grew it I had to totally replant it. The second time I tried to grow it I did not have enough time to try again. This time I hung reflectors just as the first shots appeared. That scared the crows and turkeys away and I had plants. After that it was just water, weed and wait. I planted melons in between the plants and that worked out well for both plants.
In a few weeks I will test the popcorn to see if it pops well. Once it is I will jar it up to keep the moisture content right and we will have healthy snacks for the winter. And plenty of it.
I finally picked our pumpkins today. I harvested our entire crop, seen above with a few other items I sliced off the vine this afternoon. So we have a whopping three pumpkins for pie, soup, what have you. That ain’t much. In past years we have gotten more pumpkins than we can eat, freezing most of them for use over the winter. We did get a few, indeed, but we’re not talking a bumper crop here.
We are still picking cucumbers. The cherry tomatoes are falling off the vine. I might pick a bunch of them and dry them. The second melon from our garden is pictured above as well. Hopefully it will be as good as the first. That first one was tasty when we busted it open and even tastier after the second half of it cooled in the refrigerator. We should be able to pick a few more of those.
Next up–onions, already drying out of the ground. Good food. We have much more to still harvest. The rain we will get over the next couple of days will help with that. It should drop below 90 degrees by Saturday. That might help as well.
Our children hopped on the bus today. September one–first day of school. I have to admit I am happy school starts in September. Starting in August is hard to take. I can think of September as fall, but August is still summer, no arguing, even if the temperature is supposed to top 90 today. I am off to work, hoping to get it all done before the bus returns this afternoon. Another school year underway, with the good and the bad that comes with that. My kids were excited and nervous at the same time, as I imagine I was back in the school days. A colleague of mine, when I saw her for the first time since June this week, said to me, “Happy New Year!” I thought that was apt. So here is to a good new year. Cheers!