Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shelling Corn

Last summer I experimented growing some Painted Mountain corn in our garden.  This corn is ultra-early (85 days . . . a real plus for our far north location), and developed in the mountains of Montana for its hardiness and colorful display.  You can use it by grinding for cornmeal, roasting the fresh ears and, of course, decorating.

Unfortunately, we missed sampling any as roasted eating corn this past year, but will be sure to do that this coming season.  

We let the ears mature on the stalk, harvested them from our little plot (just 4 rows in a 6' x 9' plot), dried them and this afternoon I finally got around to shelling the corn.


First we selected the nicest ears to save for seed corn.  (Those ears are shown on the table above.)


We had purchased a hand sheller so it was time to see if it did an adequate job.


Our ears of corn grew quite a bit longer than the advertised 6-7" length.  Some were 10" long!  But they were quite skinny (that's what I want to be . . . skinny and taller), and so didn't fit in the sheller as well as a fatter ear would have.


I still didn't have much trouble getting the kernels to pop right off the cob.  (And pop they did . . . in the bowl in my lap, onto the floor, clear across the room!)


Our little harvest yielded a pint jar and a half gallon jar full of corn for grinding (on the left in above picture) plus one very full quart to use as seed corn.

I'd call the experiment a success so far.  The corn is touted as making a high-nutrition flour so now grinding some and baking with it is next on the list.  

28 comments:

Carolyn said...

Ok, I am SUPER jealous. That is some beautiful looking corn! One day, when we get like a real garden with, like, real dirt, I'd like to try growing corn. Although technically we HAVE grown corn here, albeit it was from the "deer corn" or "chicken corn" that just sprouted up in the midst of the weeds last year. Somebody got to the ears before we could though.

odiie said...

This is now the only corn I grow. We use it as sweet corn before it goes all colorful on us. You harvested some beautiful ears. Where did you get the corn sheller? I just use my hands and it sure makes them sore.

DFW said...

Those jars full of corn are beautiful! I would keep one just to display with my other dried stuff (beans, oats, sweet potatoes, etc.).

Michelle said...

Where did you get your sheller? I so need one of those. Your corn look great in the jars. How much flour will you get. The reason I ask is I would love to try planting painted corn next year.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - We worked for quite a few years making and bringing in soil. Nuthin' here naturally but rock and a little clay . . . which tends to make a not very good garden so I know what you mean about struggling to get good garden soil. But if your volunteer corn grew, that's a good sign, no? Your hot summers should be good corn growing weather.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Oh, I'm so glad to hear somebody say it really makes good "sweet" corn. Now I think I'm going to plant a way bigger patch this year for sure.

We got our sheller from Nasco. I started doing a bit just with my hands before hubby reminded me that we had the sheller. (Glad I could find it!) With just the little I did, I knew it would quickly make your hands very sore. It went really fast with the sheller . . . although I can feel it in my wrists a little tonight.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - I know! I still have them sitting out and I can't stop staring at them. What a bonus, huh?

Sparkless said...

I can't wait to see how it grinds and what you bake with it. I love cornmeal!

Simply Scaife Family said...

That corn is beautiful..and I am looking for a sheller if you don't mind sharing the source. Seed corn in our area is going for $25-30 per pound. Sad state of mess that is.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - We ordered the sheller from the Nasco catalog. I wonder if a place like Farm and Fleet would carry them?

The first time I grind up some of the kernels for cornmeal, I'll measure how much flour a cup of corn makes. And try to remember to post about it. I'm really curious to see what color the flour will be!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I have a bread recipe or two that calls from some cornmeal so I'll try that. Will it change the color of the bread? We aren't crazy about cornbread but I may just have to bake a pan of it so we can critique the flavor as opposed to regular corn.

Mama Pea said...

Simply Scaife Family - Check out Nasco for the sheller. I'm assuming they still have them. We just got ours last year. How in the world can one afford seed corn at $25-30 a pound? Ouch.

Michelle said...

Mama Pea

I just wanted to let you know. I am posting your Mushroom soup recipe as my Friday Spot Light Recipe. It's so good.

Melissa said...

Ok, now you really have to get to work on making that cornbread! We are all just dying to know how it works out with that beautiful corn you shelled!!

Kelly said...

The corn is beautiful!!!! We grew two rows of corn last year, noone would eat it because of the worms LOL! If I did it again I would grow pretty corn like yours ☺

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Thanks for the link in your post to my blog! So glad you and your family like the soup.

Mama Pea said...

Melissa - I am so eager to grind some up to see what color the flour will be! Any guesses?

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - Well, can't say wormy corn is high on my list of tasty dishes either!! Ya know, we all had so much trouble with garden insects last year, I'll bet you could try corn again and have lots better luck. Or at least I sure hope so!

judy said...

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Stephanie said...

Looks great! What do you use for a grinder? I am trying to decide what I want to get. Prefer a non-electric if I can afford one. They can be so pricey.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Thanks for taking the time to share this info!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - My electric grinder is a Grain Master Whisper Mill. Which is a real joke 'cause it sounds exactly like a 747 taking off! But I LOVE it. I don't think they make the exact model I have anymore; I got mine several years ago.

We do have a hand operated grain mill for back-up. It's the Country Mill and does a super job. It's just that as long as I have the option of using electricity, the Whisper Mill is soooo much faster compared to the Country Mill.

Shannon said...

My son (who is 9) is a seed collector and he would LOVE to try this. Your corn is beautiful. We may do this next season, thanks for sharing!

Kristina said...

That is definitely on my list of homesteading skills to complete. Each year we do more and more. Thanks for sharing.

Mama Pea said...

Shannon - A seed collector at nine years of age! I love it. We should encourage him in any way possible. I think this corn is especially nice because each ear does have the different coloration and it's so much more fun than husking ear after ear of yellow corn.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Even after all our years of gardening and homesteading, this variety of corn is a first for us also. And successfully (I guess we won't know that for sure until harvest next fall!) saving corn seed for propagation is a first for us, too.

Erin said...

Gorgeous corn! I would kill for some of that woody feed corn even from the farmers field next to my childhood farmhouse - well maybe not the GMO kind. Corn here is only that tiny early white stuff and if I grow it myself its even worse - spotty pollination! Someday, someday. But I can grow peanuts LOL

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I know! In Illinois we used to eat some of the field corn (had to get it early enough though, right?), too.

In the peanut department . . . you're ever ahead of us. We can't grow peanuts for . . . well, not for beans!