My go-to meal for the last three weeks. The sweet corn was raised without herbicides or pesticides. It’s a wonderful experience when a successful experiment results in such good eats.
I planted a rye cover crop last fall, rotovated twice in the spring, rotary hoed twice after planting, and cultivated twice, keeping the corn ahead of the weeds long enough to produce a good ear of corn, even though the weeds are thriving now.
The last time I tried to raise sweet corn without herbicides was a disaster, with the weeds getting ahead of the corn, resulting in production losses. That time I only chisel plowed, disced, and cultivated once.
My plan for next year is to use the same protocol as this year, except possibly not using the rye cover crop. That may prove to be a mistake as the rye has alleopathic properties.
I wonder if I should be looking at weeds differently. Instead of a problem to overcome, maybe I should consider them as a volunteer crop. Instead of weeding, maybe I should be harvesting.
Tama Matsuoka Wong is a businessperson who has taken her interest in wild edibles to a new level. She partners with restaurants to put wild edibles on the menu. Her website is Meadows and More. Discovering the way Ms. Wong approaches wild edibles is invigorating my thinking about weeds.
Finally, while I’ve spent the summer thinking about sweet corn, I wonder how much corn I’m getting from other sources. “Children of the Corn” is an interesting infograph if you’ve ever wondered about the corn industry.
The one problem I have with the infograph is when they talk about water usage. Sure, corn uses water, but it gets cycled back into the atmosphere. It’s not like it’s being used up, never to be seen again.
Comment if you have any thoughts about these topics.
When we were in France, we had salads made from mache (accent over the a) which is called “corn salad” in the U.S. I always wondered if maybe it grows well between rows of corn? You could consider trying to grow that as one of your experiments.
Thanks PFJ. Never heard of it, but I looked it up and it appears that it would grow here. I’ll probably stick with what volunteers first.