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February 2010

January 2010

Growing Corn

Sweet Corn        Damon Morgan Kentucky Butcher Corn


      Scientists believe people living in central Mexico developed corn at least 7000 years ago.  As you probably know it was a staple in the diet of the native American Indian.  Corn is often classified as dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, popcorn, sweet corn, waxy corn, and pod corn.  Over the years many different varieties have been developed in each class.   Corn is a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B5, folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

     I enjoy many wonderful foods from my garden but my all time favorite is sweet corn.  There is no comparison between buying corn in stores and growing corn in your own garden.  When you grow your own you can also by-pass the GMOs and chemicals.  Peter Whoriskey reported in the Washington Post, Nov. 29, 2009, that 80% of the corn grown in the US is grown from genetically altered seed.  Local farms and farmers markets are good places to buy corn if you can't grow your own.  Sweet corn is great raw, steamed, boiled, creamed, with beans and many other ways.  Breeder's Choice sweet corn seed has performed well for me and taste delicious.  Damon Morgan Kentucky Butcher corn is my choice for cornbread and corn tortillas.


Growing Corn transplants The first planting of corn should be planted after the soil has warmed and the danger of frost has past.  I get a head start by growing corn transplants which I plant in the garden when frost danger has past.  This also gives the corn an advantage over the weeds and eliminates poor seed germination.  I plant successive plantings at 2 - 3 week intervals through June. Growing corn transplants several times in succession provides a lengthy corn harvest.

Corn is a heavy feeder yet I have great success growing it in well managed organic soil with a small amount of organic fertilizer that provides nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.  It should be watered once a week if there hasn't been sufficient rainfall.   Raccoons love corn.  A good fence is your best defense against these masked corn thieves.  Corn earworms are annoying but can be controlled with a couple drops of mineral oil placed on the silk at the tip of the corn ear just after the silk begins to turn brown.  Using mineral oil before the silk begins to turn brown can interfere with pollination. 

Visit these sites for more about growing corn:

Whole Foods - Corn

Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked to Organ Failure, Study Reveals

Genetically Modified Foods:  Harmful or Helpful





Patriotic Quote: Regard to Moral Character - John Witherspoon

Uwharrie Mountains
John Witherspoon

Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. . . .[And t]he people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches.

[John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, pp. 266, 277.]

Patriotic Quote: Noah Webster - Preservation of Government

Uwharrie Mountains

Noah Webster

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character. . . . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.

[Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), pp. 18, 19.]

When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.

[Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, �49.]

Raisins, Almond Butter, Flax and Agave Syrup in a Convenient Bar

Pastry Roller and Tart Pan  Energy Bar Mix pressed into tart pan  Energy Bars

Raisins - Almond Butter - Agave Syrup - Flax and more in each bar!

     Make your own energy bars.  Why?  Easy - Fun - Delicious - Nutritious - No Food Additives

Energy Bars

Combine and set aside

3 cups puffed whole grain cereal

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, pineapple, or blueberries, etc.)

Place in sauce pan and bring to boil

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup ground raisins

1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup agave syrup

Remove from heat and combine with other ingredients.  Press into a 9 x 9 pan (I use a tart pan lined with wax paper, place another piece of wax paper over the mix and roll it out with a pastry roller), allow to cool and cut into bars.

Uwharrie Farm Planting Schedule: January - February

Greenhouse Tomatoes      Onion Seedlings

     Do you ever wish you could just start all over again?  That is just what we gardeners get to do every year.  The 2009 garden season has ended and 2010 is just beginning.  Last year's garden is gone and we get to start fresh and new in 2010.  Here at Uwharrie Farm the fall greenhouse tomato crop will soon come to an end.  Powdery Mildew and Botrytis Gray Mold have taken a toll yet we still had a good harvest.  And just think, I can clean out all the old plants with their problems this month and start all over with a fresh new spring crop. 

     In mid January I will plant tomato seed to grow plants for the spring greenhouse tomato crop and onion seed to grow plants for the spring garden.  Usually I plant the tomato seed in December, however, for various reasons we are running a little later this year. 

     Mid February is a good time to plant seed for broccoli, cabbage and lettuce to grow plants for spring planting in the garden.

Remember we are in USDA Hardiness zone 7