On corn and in-laws
I put corn in my garden this year, not really with the expectation that I'd get a whole lot of ears out of it. I just thought it would be fun to give it a try.
I proudly pointed the plants out to my father-in-law, who grew up on a farm and visited us about a month ago. He is a lovely man but has a terrible habit of speaking the truth as he sees it. He pronounced my crop "anemic" and said it wouldn't do anything without a lot of Miracle-Gro.
Ever since, I've been a woman on a mission, out to prove I can grow corn without chemical fertilizers.
I've lavished my plants with $12's worth of compost "tea" from the Hamilton Crop Circle guy, who sells jugs of the low-tide smelling stuff at the JFX farmers' market and at Mill Valley General Store in Remington. I shelled out another $12 for an even fouler-smelling fish fertilizer called "Neptune's Harvest," also from Mill Valley.
I even dug up one straggler, put the skin from my rockfish dinner beneath the roots, and replanted it. (Isn't that how Squanto helped the Pilgrims show up their in-law naysayers?)
After several weeks of this special, stinky treatment, some of the stalks are taller than I am. (I'm only 5-foot-3, so maybe that's not saying much.) Other stalks are chest high. A few are just knee high. About half have sprouted ears. They're skinny-looking ears, but I think they're coming along. I like to think of them as svelte, not anemic.
I appeal to the more experienced corn-growers and spite-sowers out there. Is there anything else I should be doing for my corn?
Allegedly anemic corn. Photo by math-hubby