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Over-ripe Corn

posted by Spun Gold Farm on Sep 24th, 2011 at 10:48am

This time of year, some of the ears of corn get past you and don't get eaten fresh.  When I have even a single ear of overripe corn, I husk it, set it on a grate to dry and when dry enough for the kernals to come off easily, I rub the kernals off into a box to put by the stove to finish drying.  There is a lot of moisture in corn kernals and in order to keep for winter feed, it needs to dry completely.  A neighbor gives me his corn stalks for animal feed in the fall and after a tragic incident a few years back with a corn cob, we remove the ears and I dry them.  The chickens will love the treat this winter. 

I remember when I first started asking around about drying corn, everyone said to blanch it and dry it.  What a mess.  The old farmers used to dry it in the ear and put it in the corn crib to finish drying, why couldn't I just dry it.  If I have extra room in the dehydrator, I will stick a few ears in there to hurry it along, but it isn't necessary.  They will just air dry.  I just dry anything past its prime, starchy, for feed.

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Comment by Jason on Sep 26th, 2011 at 2:31pm

Your post refers to 2 different types of corn, sweet corn which is meant for fresh eating and shell(field/flint/dent)corn which is meant for for corn meal or for animal feed. Farmers use shell corn to feed animals and they dry their crop down to 13% moisture(ideally) in the field. The corn is then harvested dry in late October/November and is prime for storage and transport. Thats the stuff in the corn cribs, but it was dry before they put it in there. Sweet corn should be treated as a vegetable and stored as other vegeatables- canned, frozen, etc. Over ripe sweet corn can be left on the stalk to dry and will stay there all winter until you want to feed it or until the stalk falls over. Just pick when you wnat to feed it, easy.

Comment by Spun Gold Farm on Sep 26th, 2011 at 6:57pm

It doesn't last here for feed. And this was already pulled up by the grower. The neighbors call when the pull out their corn to plow. I pull off the ears, husk them and dry them on the cob for animal feed, then give the stalks to the animals for feed now. This is sweet corn. It works fine. Our growing season is too short much of the time for drying in the field. It would never dry on the stalk here. When it is overripe for eating fresh, I dry it to suppliment my other bird food.

Comment by Matt C on Sep 27th, 2011 at 12:05am

I've been saving my own corn seed for a few seasons now. I grow 'bloody buthcer ' and I save enough for my own use, my mothers use, and enough to sell off to some friends. With what is left I feed to the turkeys. Last year I saved 20 ears of corn by picking them and putting them in paper bags in my wood shed. It works fine here but some place more humid may need to keep the bags indoors.

Comment by Spun Gold Farm on Sep 27th, 2011 at 2:30am

I got some bloody butcher a few years back and I didn't like the source, it was a very poor producer and didn't come true. This year we were lucky to get some short season varieties and I didn't even try to plant any long season as what we did plant just sat for several weeks and didn't grow until after July 4th. All we had was rain, clouds and cold up til then. I would love to have the longer season here for the flint corn, but most years aren't condusive.

Comment by laura on Sep 27th, 2011 at 2:28pm

I have some not-so-attractive ears of indian corn. Can I save the corn kernels from them to plant next year? I thought I would see if they would sprout in the Spring, if they didn't, just another growing lesson.

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