Gradually the last vestiges of summer begin to slip away.

More often than not when I wake up in the mornings it is dark.  It couldn’t possibly be because I’ve been waking up earlier because I’m just not that kind of girl, which can be verified by the fact I have no idea if it’s getting colder outside on these darker mornings as I like to stay tucked up in bed until the last possible moment!  But eventually I have to drag myself out from under the covers and face the day.

Today is a Saturday, which is fantastic.  There aren’t many pressing responsibilities on a Saturday – other than making sure the kids get their basic needs met – you know:  food and water, the rest is up to them.  Today I can hang out in the garden guilt free!  But what to do with this free time?

What shall we do from the list today?

I have lists everywhere of things to do in the garden, some big projects and some really small, but most of the time you have to go on instinct and leave the projects to the spare time in your spare time!  So as I stood in the garden looking about I could see immediately what needed my attention.  The Corn.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  It really did need that extra week propped back up after being blown down by the storm.

The corn in its heyday

In the beginning I had such a terrible job getting it started, I think I had to re-sow three times and had to go out and get more seed. In the end I sowed the seed on the same day that the farmer next door had planted out his maize and it worked really well for both of us.  But in my wee gardening book I will be writing down under the corn heading: despite corn preferring to be planted out directly, I prefer not to have to re-sow again and again.  So I need to start off indoors.  I also need to devise a wind break thingy to help them stand up to the average weather bomb that will ultimately be thrown our way midsummer!

A big bowl of sunshine to be stored away for the winter

The corn I harvested was great – all the kernels were full, plump and juicy.  So 30 delicious, perfect looking cobs have been chucked in the freezer for that yellow sunshine taste in the middle of winter.  There were a couple of manky ones – the kind where there are only half a dozen kernels.  In the past these have made up the majority of the crop, and so I would determinedly nibble each of the malformed cobs – I went to the effort of growing these stupid things – then damn it, I’m going to eat them!  This season there were so many “normal” ones that I happily threw the manky ones to the chickens, who gratefully gobbled them up.  So now we shall have homemade corn flavoured eggs for breakfast.

I reckon based on today’s supermarket prices for sweet corn ($0.75 each) I have saved the family the princely sum of $30 dollars! (Included in this calculation is the ones we have already eaten – I’m bad with maths but not that bad!)  With the added benefit of low food miles, I know where it has come from and I know what hasn’t been sprayed on it!

Such a sad sight

But then I had to turn to chopping down the stalks and clearing out the bed, removing all trace of a crop that has been such a prominent feature in our landscape all summer.  The garden just looks so barren without its height and lush presence.

Come again soon – the end of summer clear out is only just beginning…  sigh…

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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