Growing the Desert Garden

Welcome to the Desert Garden, with garden coach Tyler Storey, where we talk about everything having to do with gardening and landscaping in the Desert Southwest. From composting to Cercidium and agaves to arugula — we'll cover everything you want to know to grow your own beautiful Desert Garden.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Back at the Ranch: Corn Harvest

Golden Bantam Corn © Tyler Storey

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. But I won't let that stop me from adding just a few more words to the total.

One of the interesting things about growing corn is that it grows hidden within a husk. As with potatoes, or turnips, or beets growing underground, you never really know what you're going to get until that moment of harvest.

You twist the corn cob off the stalk, carry it indoors and rip open the husk. And not until that very moment do you really know what's inside. It might be rows of kernels that never pollinated; it might be a fat and happy caterpillar waving at you from it's cozy lunch counter. Or it might be what I found on opening the first two ears of corn to come out of the corn patch this season (above).

What you see when you open an ear of corn is the result — the vegetable expression, if you will — of every shift and change in the growing season: the blistering hot day in the middle of silking, the unexpected rain, the windy week right after tasseling, those few days when you forgot to water. Every shift and change is written in the rows of kernels encircling the cob.

The corn in the picture tasted every bit as good as it looked.


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