Monday, September 13, 2010

Corn Worms, Compost, and Curtains (Not necessarily in that order)...

I've felt kind of mischievous lately. It might come from the wonderful invention called, "vitamins" or something. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm just glad to be feeling better lately.

I've even gotten the gardening bug. Well, uhm, I guess you could call it, the "next year" gardening bug. Remember that cold frame experiment from yesteryear? I figured one of those old, wooden frames might have another year or two of life in them- a new life so to speak. No one ever goes behind the playhouse in the backyard so, I figured starting a compost pile at the house would be a good venture. It would be out of the way. One of those old cold frames would make a good housing for some rotting good stuff.

Last time, I filled a 5 gallon bucket with scraps and about once a week or so, I took that bucket to Uncle Bubba's farm to join his compost. Now, I'll be able to make my own. My goal is to make enough good stuff to plant my seedlings in next year. With that being said, I'm planning to garden next year. Having not really "gardened" to any large scale this year, I realized that gardening makes me happy. Hey, you just gotta' go with what makes you happy sometimes. It took shucking some corn to make me realize that....but that story is to come....

Here is the beginning of my compost pile. It already has 2 spent heads of lettuce, several apple cores (and a few peelings), the watermelon that was cracked (and we didn't realize it until it was too late), some cucumber peelings, the leftover organic dirt from my cucumber plants, some leaves, and of course, all of the corn shuckings and cobs that you see in the photo.

Where did the corn come from? Uncle Bubba. He gardened pretty big this year even if he got started a little late.

Scott and Go-Cart Boy brought these ears home the other day. We had no idea what condition (or stage for that matter) that the ears were in since the crop had been ready for many days.

"Hey, what are you lookin' at?"

I guess you can figure that my insect loving daughter had a ball finding all of the corn worms. (This corn was totally organic- nothing was sprayed on it so it was bound to have some critters in it).

"This acorn smells like corn"

I've never liked the wiggly critters. Even when I was younger, I always passed the "wormy" corn to my Daddy. (Let me rephrase that- scream and throw the corn down on the ground). He would just reach down, and flick them off and break off the "eaten" pieces. It would gross me out a bit. Have you ever come across "wormy" corn? If you have, you understand how gross it can be. Well, with age comes wisdom. I can now "flick" corn worms and break off the "eaten" parts of a corn cob. Roly Poly girl had no problem with it at all from the start. She didn't get that from me!

This is what we ended up with. The two dark orange cobs were already dried out! In case you were wondering, this corn was an open pollinated variety (heirloom) called "Bloody Butcher". It's an all purpose corn good for roasting, animal feed, and grinding (think grits). Uncle Bubba is going to let a lot of it dry out so we might have a "grits" making post one of these days. I'll have to read up on that before we attempt it though....

Roly Poly Girl found one tiny, little ear. She squeeled, "BABY CORN!!!" and took off for the house to tell her "baby corn" eating brother about it. They actually washed it and halved it. I didn't ask them how it was.

Scott brought some other goodies home too. The yellow guys are some type of Asian melon that taste like cantaloupes. The big squash, we have yet to slice and cook. I hope it tastes like pumpkin. I love pumpkin....mmmmmm

Oh, what did we do with the corn? Since a lot of it was a various stages and it was actually showing it's, "Blood Butcher" hues, I creamed it. I had no idea what I was doing so you can figure that I made a complete mess of my kitchen. (Hence the absence of a creamed corn tutorial) The good news is that everything turned out alright and I ended up with enough for 3 quart freezer bags (and I didn't scorch any of it!!). I'm going to give Uncle Bubba some since he grew the corn in the first place.

The last item on my title says, "curtains" The curtains in question have nothing to do with corn or compost but it was a major event at my house this week. I had seen these curtains at a local home improvement store but shuddered at paying the price they had marked for them. Walking away from the curtain display was a simple thing to do since I'm somewhat frugal at heart. Speaking of being frugal, I went to a thrift store over the weekend and what to my surprise did I find (brand new and still in the original packages)? You guessed it, the very curtains I had sighed and walked away from at the home improvement store. They were more than 80% cheaper (did I mention, brand new and still in the package?!!) Needless to say, my girls have the "girly" curtains that I wanted and they love them. All it took was a quick run under the iron and they were ready to go. I love it when things work out like that... God is good.

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