Saturday, September 20, 2014

Corn as a must on high calorie garden

Next on my high calorie must grow foods is Flour, Dent, and Flint corn
On average corn clocks in at around 600 calories a cup. It has been a stable of small farms across the world.

However, corn does have its down side. First is that it is air pollenated, meaning that if GMO corn is pollenating when your corn is pollenating you can get hybrids you do not want if you are saving seeds. A minimum of 100 plants should be used for saving seed to maintain the maximum amount of genetic diversity of the variety of corn you wish to save. Corn is also considered a heavy feeder in the garden so it requires fertilizer or rich soil to get a good crop. That said corn is still one of the crops to have.

One thing that people in my neck of the woods have done to get around deer and crows is to sprout and transplant corn. Corn like soil temperature of at least 60F so starting indoors based on using average soil temperature days chart can be a good way to get an early start on corn and avoid weeds, pests, climate, and disease. This is also a way to get your corn pollenated before the local GMO corn pollenates in your area.

I have attached information about growing corn. I have tried to base this on historical techniques and manual methods as much as possible.  When you visit the links below you will find that there is a lot to growing corn.

Growing corn – Must reads low tech and small scale production.

Small-Scale Grain Raising: An Organic Guide to Growing, Processing, and Using Nutritious Whole Grains for Home... by Gene Logsdon and Jerry O'Brien (Jun 30, 2009) – Book

ATTRA organic corn production

Growing corn – other data

Using a ash hopper to make lye used in preparing Hominy Corn

Video: Making Limewater for Soaking Corn, important to increase nutrient value of corn

Learn How to Make Hominy Corn, to increase nutrient value of corn

small pits for targeted planting using a hoe

Grow whole-grain heirloom corn for the health benefits and for their great taste.

Corn Brookings, South Dakota 1910;view=1up;seq=
Relation of cultivation to yield and character of crop. Relation of number of stalks per hill to yield.

University of Minnesota 1915;view=1up;seq=5

Corn: The foundation of profitable Farming – 1915;view=1up;seq=1

Corn Growing a Manual for Corn Clubs – 1917$b304278;view=1up;seq=7

Corn and corn growing – 1925 very extensive manual of practices at that time period.;view=1up;seq=2137

Starting seedlings indoors and transplanting Corn

I have friends who do this with sweet corn to beat the crows and deer. If it is high enough it is less likely to be eaten for the tasty sweet seed!

Transplanted sweet corn on plastic, University of Kentucky

Transplanting Sweet Corn At Cold Spring Brook Farm

Roys Calais Flint Corn & the Hatfield Transplanter

Starting corn indoors, Purdue University


Shocking Horse to make corn shocks.

A convenient corn shocking horse is made with a pole cut from a straight tree. The pole is about six inches through at the butt and tapers to a small end. About twenty feet is a good length. There are two legs which hold the large end of the pole up about 40″ from the ground. These legs are well spread apart at the bottom. Two feet back from the legs is a horizontal hole about one and one-quarter inches in diameter to hold the crossbar. This crossbar may be an old broom handle. The pole and the crossbar mark the four divisions of a corn shock. Corn is cut and stood up in each corner, usually nine hills in a corner, giving thirty-six hills to a shock. Corn planted in rows is counted up to make about the same amount of corn to the shock. Of course a heavy or light crop must determine the number of rows or hills. When enough corn is cut for a shock it is tied with two bands, the crossbar is pulled out and the corn horse is dragged along to the next stand.
Picture of shocking horse being used

Shock binders, compressor, and tiers

Tool to tighten corn shocks at the end of video

shock binders, compressors and tiers

Wood crank shock compressor picture

Corn Husking Peg and Corn Hushing Hooks
Hand huskers for dividing the cornhusks at the tips of the ears are made of wood, bone or steel. Wooden husking-pins are made of ironwood, eucalyptus, second growth hickory, or some other tough hardwood. The pin is about four inches long, five-eighths of an inch thick and it is shaped like a lead-pencil with a rather long point. A recessed girdle is cut around the barrel of the pin and a leather finger ring fits into and around this girdle. Generally the leather ring fits the larger finger to hold the pin in the right position while permitting it to turn to wear the point all around alike. Bone husking-pins are generally flat with a hole through the center to hold the leather finger ring. Steel husking-pins are shaped differently and have teeth to catch and tear the husks apart.

Finger-Loop Corn Husking Peg, for sale from Lehmans

Single Hook Corn Husker, for sale from Lehmans

Corn knife, if you are not just picking ears you are going to cut corn stalks!

Old-Fashioned Corn Knife, for sale Lehmans

Bully tools corn knife

Corn shellers, getting the corn off the cob.

Inexpensive manual Corn Sheller, for sale from lehmans

Shelling Corn with IHC 1-hole Sheller

Corn drying and storage

Ear Corn Drying, Storage and Handling

Corn Storage in  the ever-normal granary - 1938;view=1up;seq=1


Seed and corn seedling planters

Stand & Plant

Easy Jab Planter

Johnny's transplanter
Almaco Hand Held Planters-Standard

New type of jab planter for corn and beans

Simple Seeder


Jang Seeders - Model JP-1 1 Row Hand Seeder

Push Seeder, Penn State Extension Start Farming

Hoss seeder

Jang TD-1 Planter ~ Precision Planting for Larger Seeds Like Corn, Peas, Beans & Pumpkins

Seed sources

Diseases and insect of corn

Corn Disease

Sweet Corn pest identification and management

Organic Weed management in Corn

Weed Management in Organic Sweet Corn and Edamame Soybean

Organic weed control toolbox

Vegetable Farmers and their Weed-Control Machines – video for sale from SARE
Tools for Managing Pest and Environmental Risks to Organic Crops in the Upper Midwest

Prescribed Burning

Planning of the Sustainable Slash-and-Burn Cultivation Programme in Koli National Park, Finland

Uses of corn waste

Bundled Corn Stalk Stoves for Malawi, Stoves Camp 2010, using corn stalks in a rocket stove for fuel
Experimental Determination of the Insulating Ability of Corn By-Products

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