Friday, August 22, 2008

Harvest Time

We feel like squirrels, preparing our larder for the coming winter.

The autumn Mandan Bride corn is ready for grinding (or just admiring):

Even some of the Tiger Eye beans are dried--and almost as lovely as the corn:

Our backyard is tiny, so the corn and beans we managed to grow are really very little more than symbolic. But I am over the moon that we can have our mostly-vegan friends over for an all-garden-grown feast, complete with homegrown protein. I'm thinking about hosting them for Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival and probably my favorite holiday, when we build a little shelter in the backyard and eat our meals in the midst of our plenty.

How exciting! I can't wait to pick delicato squash, dig our potatoes, and harvest the amaranth!


Beany said...

I have to ask because I honestly don't know. Is the corn pictured edible? It seems like they are always used only for display and it struck me as a bit of a waste.

If it is edible, can you make popcorn out of it?

Mouse said...

Oooh.. what pretty colored corn! I've heard that you can make "corn necklaces" out of those colored kernels.. if you aren't planning on eating it.

The Purloined Letter said...

This very old variety of corn is absolutely edible! If you let it dry, it turns these gorgeous colors and is perfect for grinding for corn meal. (We have a little person-powered grinder so cornbread is in our future.)

My understanding is that this is not corn for popping.

We may display a bit of it before we grind it, just because it is so gorgeous. And we plan to save a few kernels for seed, too. I definitely want to grow this again!

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Mmm... Sounds great--I've always wanted to attend a sukkot celebration. Enjoy!

PG said...

Oh lovely! There is absolutely nothing like growing your own food, we have a small garden too, but we cram it as full as possible! I love the colours on your corn. Well done on a successful harvest - I just wish our squash were as far ahead as yours!

Red said...

Gosh darnit, I am jealous...once again. But I love gardening. But I am having to wait a while for my darned back to heal before I can dig in(un completely intended).

And here in Florida, I planting season is not yet here. I do however have some basil and thyme growing and they are doing wonderfully.

I hope to get something planted in the foeseeable future. Loved your corn!

Melinda said...

Beautiful! Did the beans grow up the corn? Do you think it was more prolific to grow the three sisters together? So curious, as I haven't been able to grow corn yet and try all 3 together.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

That corn is gorgeous! Do you make some sort of masa out of it or a cornmeal?

Those beans are beautiful too! Can you compare their flavor with any other sort of dried bean? I have been interested in growing "dried beans" when we have our own place for a larger garden. Somehow I don't think it would be worth our while to plant it in a community garden plot, we have such limited space already.

Sounds like your garden is going very nicely. Ours got attacked by squash bugs, and it being a community garden, it didn't really matter what WE did, because many other gardeners just abandoned their plots, so as soon as we think we had rid our garden from them, they just walk on over from the other plots. Argh!

The Purloined Letter said...

Sadly, I think our 3 Sisters garden concept didn't work out so well. This particular variety of corn falls over fairly easily once it starts drying, so the twining squash and beans just seemed to pull the stalks down. It does make it easy to plant a variety of crops in a very small space--and supposedly the beans give nitrogen for the hungry corn.

Sorry to hear the community didn't work out better. Sometimes these atypical plants can work really well in areas like that, since the predators that might like them best might not be around already. And crops that can't get too out of hand in just a few hours (like zukes or even green beans) are perfect if you aren't going every day.

Cornmeal is definitely what we're planning to use the corn for. And I hear these beans are tender and buttery. I'll let you know when we taste them (which will be in about six weeks, I think).

Here are the links to the place where I got the seeds:

Mandan Bride Corn

Tigers Eye Beans

The Purloined Letter said...


Oh! I have an old blue corn necklace that my grandmother gave me when I was in junior high school! I've got to go find it....

Chile said...

Beautiful corn! We had some like that (that I bought) and ground it up for cornbread too. Yum.


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