the day begins early because the whole idea is to beat the heat.  (did i mention it’s 115 heat index around here).  the corn has to be picked, hand picked, to make sure ripe enough ears make the list.

no, we aren’t feeding the 5000.  as we say in these parts: we’re doing corn today.  (it’s been pointed out to me that in farm language pronouns and possessives are often dropped or used loosely.)

mother of my mother. mother of my father.

and it’s a family affair, the putting up of corn.  all ages are expected to help for anybody and everybody is of age.  the more the merrier…well actually the more the quicker we can return to the air-con.  but as my 4 year old niece is signing for her second year of service, I too have been doing this as long as I can remember.  corn day is another picture of community life on the farm, helping prepare for the harsh winters, the reality that many tasks cannot be done alone.  it takes the hands of many.

four year old niece

after the picking, comes the shucking, silking and washing. (kaylee BEGGED to wash. so did six year old alex.)  next comes coffee break, an essential to any work day that begins before normal waking hours.  only then can the corn be carried to the kitchen where it is blanched in pots of boiling water for 6 minutes then transferred to a sink full of cold   water.  the corn is carried back out to the waiting cutters (my job of choice).


cousin. father of my mother.

cutting is actually a trick….cutting too close to the cob makes for a disappointing bite in january, cutting too far away leaves the sweet juices behind.  the sign of a true cutter (which I haven’t quite attained) is the swift move of finishing the cut, eating the end kernels missed by the knife and pitching the cob into the buckets without ever missing a beat to pick up the next ear.  the piles of fresh cut corn mound, the bagger comes in to play.  notice the white board behind my mother.  that was a new addition this year to track progress or for the satisfaction of crossing names off a list…everybody who wanted corn wrote their name, how many bags wanted and how many cups per bag…the total came around to 170 bags of corn, 2 cups each.  (you do the math)

corn day concludes. when I was younger, my cousins and I were dropped off at the pool.  but now, I go home and take a short nap.  tomorrow is peaches. then green beans. then tomato soup………