Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's fertilization time for corn -- in the sense of making sure male meets female. Corn in fields fertilizes by wind; the pollen drifts along and meets thejavascript:void(0) grain. In gardens it merits some human help. Those tufts at the top of the corn now have easily removed grains of pollen. The books say to collect it in a paper bag and carefully distribute it. I've found over the years that I get complete ears if I merely scoop it into my hand(s) and empty my hand on the silken threads that are on top of the incipient ears. I find myself remembering that old Thanksgiving hymn, which didn't make sense to me until I began raising corn.

"First the grain and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear.
Lord of Harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and full may be."

When I first learned that, my teachers and parents were busily cultivating me to be "full corn," as I did realize even in those days.

The actual corn ears are barely descernable now, but need the pollen on the silken threads before the full corn will appear.

Trina telephoned this morning to say that THREE stags were sighted on her property on Elm Street (across from Lexington Road) this morning. Each had three pointed antlers, indicating that it was three years old. Life must be getting tough in the "woodlands" for them for be foraging on Elm Street!

She also tells me she has caught fifteen (!) woodchucks this spring WITHOUT any bait in her cage. She merely puts the cage where a woodchuck has gone into a hole and plugs up all the other entrances. I found this technique fine until this year, although I always included bait before. This year the tops of my Jeruselum artichokes are gone, so I don't have good bait. Perhaps I don't have my hole accurately investigated, but it is also possible that "my" woodchucks live on nearby properties. Anyway, the only one to enter my cage was back in April. My raspberry plants are so thick around the garage that it is difficult to see where the woodchucks go as they scamper along the garage - right by the alleged anti-woodchuck plant!

I continue to eat very well. "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow..." oops, more reverently, "Give us our day our daily bread." Mine is abundant.

I keep finding amazing vegetative clutter in my back yard this year with goodies underneath. One young mother wrote apologetically that her garden has gotten very messy, but it's hard to believe that anyone's isn't in this year of continual rain!


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