Up to our Ears in Ears

The harvest season here is in full swing. There are 5 dozen ears of open-pollinated, heirloom sweet corn (Rev Morrow’s) in the steamer pots, getting blanched to deactivate their sugar-to-starch converting enzymes, locking in their sweetness. Tomorrow, after cooling and drying somewhat overnight, they get their kernels cut from their cobs and go straight to the stainless steel screens in the solar food dryer. If we tried to to the picking, shucking, blanching cooling and cutting all in one morning we’d either have to get up VERY early (picking by flashlight?) or lose precious minutes of solar power while we were busy with the prep work.

And the kitchen counters are nearly full of various heirloom tomatoes, stockpiled indoors to finish ripening, keeping them from the garden slugs that punch holes in the fully ripe ones. We could poison the slugs with iron phosphate bait or blast them with a fine dusting of wood ashes and watch them wilt. By why do this when the earwigs that live in the garden just love to feed on slugs? Supporting more niches in the food chain just seems to feel more sensible than blindly imposing our will at all times. But if the slugs get further ahead of the earwigs the slugs may see me out there in the late evening with a fully ash-loaded “Dustin’ Mizer! So far we have canned 7 quarts of sauce (from several varieties), bottled 4 pints of juice, and dried 3 quarts of the drying tomatoes (Principe Borghese). Not bad for early August.

Back to the corn, Bob

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