Posts Tagged ‘corn’

Corn Harvest this Past Weekend

Many thanks to everyone who helped us harvest the Oaxacan Green dent corn in Potter Valley on Saturday! We had 15 wonderful people from all over the county join us on a beautiful fall afternoon. Everyone was extremely helpful and we harvested about half of the Oaxacan Green corn. The Abenaki Calais flint corn did not produce so great, so we didn’t bother with it.

Non-GMO-Month-2013-Logo-300x149What better way to celebrate our right to choose non-GMO food than to harvest open-pollinated heirloom corn. Corn is one of the most widely planted GMO crops in this country. We have always been passionate about promoting non-GMO food and farming. In 2003/2004, Adam was an active campaigner for the successful “Yes on Measure H” campaign to ban GMO crop cultivation in Mendocino County. He has fond memories of collecting petition signatures and organizing his first fundraiser dinner! Although, while we can petition and vote for change on a ballot, we can vote with our dollars and forks everyday.

Many hands truly make light work! Since we do not have a corn harvester (yet), we are doing things the old fashioned way! Look at the beautiful jewels of dent corn. The variation of shades and patterns reflects the true nature of food – not perfect, as we have been indoctrinated to believe when walking by big grocery store produce shelves.

corn harvest 3 corn closeup corn harvest 2 corn harvest 1We noticed early on that there were some off-types in the field – red ears – or Oaxacan Red corn! It was like a surprise scavenger hunt for red ears of corn. They were very few and far between, but we’re keeping them and plan to plant them separately from the green corn next year.

corn harvest 4 corn harvest 5Everyone eventually found their preferred method of harvesting and shucking corn and loading it into the macrobins. Working together was very social, and we all made new friends!

corn harvest 6 corn harvest 7 corn harvest 8Unfortunately, we did not get any pictures of the refueling crew – Tonia and her two young helpers. They made fresh tortillas and kept the harvesters well-fed in the field with quesadillas and melons. It was a real taste-of-place as we ate the corn and sweet melons from the very same field. Here’s a nice shot of Sarah, committed to eating only Mendocino-sourced food this year, enjoying her first tortilla of the year:

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/eatmendocino , http://www.eatmendocino.com/

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/eatmendocino , http://www.eatmendocino.com/  That is a raw tomato sticking out of the quesadilla.

Find out about Sarah and Gowan’s adventures this year with Eat Mendocino!

corn harvest 9

For now the harvest is hanging out in the newly-built corn crib at Heart Arrow Ranch, and we will be harvesting the rest of the corn soon, before it rains. Be sure to get this corn and corn products by visiting Tonia’s company website, The Corn Crib. There, you can become a member of The Corn Crib, a Corn CSA, and learn more about the corn.

 

 

 

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The Corn Crib

tonia teaching workshopIn case you missed Tonia’s fun and informative workshop at the Not-So-Simple Living Fair, “Making Tortillas from Whole Corn,” we wanted to let you know about her new website and venture, The Corn Crib!

corn crib card side 2

We are currently growing Oaxacan Green Dent Corn and Abenaki Calais Flint Corn in Potter Valley. If you are interested in organic corn, cornmeal, hominy, or masa consider getting some of this beautiful, locally-grown heirloom corn.

corncorn close up

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Adam standing amongst our open-pollinated Nokomis Gold feed corn.

Adam standing amongst our open-pollinated Nokomis Gold feed corn.

Waltham butternut squash

Waltham butternut squash

red kuri squash

red kuri squash

feed corn & wheat. all for the sheep.

feed corn & wheat. all for the sheep.

watering the squash. unclogging one of the sprinklers.

watering the squash. unclogging one of the sprinklers.

It has been so much fun watching the winter squash and pumpkins grow. We kept the weeds down really well when they were first transplanted, and since then, they have just thrived. We’ve sown a cover crop over them so that when we are done harvesting, there will be plenty of forage and crop residue for the sheep to graze.

The winter wheat we planted last year has gone to seed again, so although it is a weed amongst the feed corn, it’s still good food for the animals as well. As a biodynamic farm, we strive to produce most of the animal feed on-farm, and this is one way we are working toward that goal. This also improves the soil, and in the future, we will be able to plant vegetables (for humans) in that spot. Vegetables like brassicas and potatoes require a lot of nutrients from the soil, and cover cropping and grazing animals on the land will add much fertility.

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