Saturday, August 22, 2009

Corn harvest, the first hill

This is a picture of the Blue corn I grew in my back yard. Next week I will harvest the corn planted next door on the bank owned house.

I cut and shocked the corn or at least I tried to get it in a shock. It takes at least three stalks for a shock to stand. I have only two so I leaned them up against the pitchfork.
Shocking fodder is one of those lost farming arts. I was on the tail end of it and learned it as a child when my father borrowed a corn binder to bind his crop of sorghum. It would cut the long stalks and tie them into a bundle of 8to10 stalks and would lay it on the ground. We would pick up the bundles and shock them. To form a shock you would gather 4 or 5bundles together, tie them at the top with a piece of twine, then spread them out at the bottom so that they would stand. Then you would pickup the surrounding bundles and lay them against the shock being sure to distribute them equally. Think of a tepee looking structure made of corn stalks.

By the time I was in high school a neighbor bought a silage chopper and we had him chop it up into pieces an inch long, put it in a pit in the ground, where it would ferment. Some of the fermented juice would run out and collect at the end of the pit. Our cows would gather there and drink it then stagger up the hill. Bet you didn't know cows could be alcoholics.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Jack I didn't have the excuse of no sun. It was neglect due to no fertilizer. Putting the cage around the corn kept both the critters and me out. I should have just let the critters have my corn.

I am drying my poor little cobs and will offer that little hors d'oeuvre to some lucky squirrel.

Also I have never heard of shocking corn but then we don't grow much corn around these parts.