Corn harvest, part 4

Larry G. Field
Thursday, October 17, 2019

About 4-7 days after the first ears of a given variety of corn have ripened, nearly all of that variety will be ripe. At this stage one can tell if ripe by looking at the silks, the tilt from the stalk, the diameter and firmness of the ears, etc. It is time to pick the crop if processing.

Work down a given row picking nearly all, all that appear ripe. Move to a work space and strip the husks from the ears. At this point I “high grade” out the youngest ears for fresh eating, they produce less volume for processing and taste the best for fresh eating. If too many for one meal either refrigerate raw or cook all at once and eat cold as leftovers. This many sound unsatisfactory, but I often take cold cooked corn leftovers on outings such as fishing trips and none of my companions shy away from them as a tasty snack.

Raccoons: An electric fence is nearly essential in our area. I string three strands tightly and closely spaced with the top being 1 foot off the ground. I post all four corners with “Electric Fence Warning Signs.” Fortunately, the raccoons in our neighborhood are illiterate! Our fence and a small LED light are plugged into a timer used to turn both on at dark and off at daybreak. We can look out from the house and see if the light, and therefore the fence, are operating as desired. The light is sheltered from weather and pointed at the corn because wild animals tend to be intimidated by artificial light. The light and fence combined have never failed to protect our corn crop.

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