RicelandMeadows


Corn Crop Seed for 2022 , Saved!

November 12, 2021

One of the things that I wrap up before the bad weather comes, is to set my next year’s seed corn in a cool dry place. It will dry down more. Then one winter day I will shell the ends off of the ears, followed by shelling the entire ear. The ends will go for animal feed. The rest of the ear will be shelled into a paper sack and kept until spring. This keeps the seed viable until it can be planted next year.

I like the color that comes naturally in this corn. It makes hand husking fun. I save seed from the biggest ears, picked from stalks that are standing up well. Many ears are over a foot long. I saved the seed that grew this corn last year. As I select the corn for seed, my crop follows that direction. There are about 50% yellow ears and 50% of ears of color. The animals don’t care, they eat it all. I just like to make picking fun.

I describe shelling the ends of the ears off. This is just so that the seed planted is from the “flats” they go through the seed plates easier and are more uniform size. I don’t have to worry about this anymore as I now have a plateless planter. It allows me to plant seeds of all different sizes including the small round seeds found at the ends of the ears. So, I guess its just an old habit slow to die for me. If folks are planting using a planter with seed plates, they may want to stick with the way I describe to get the more uniform flat seeds from the middle part of the ear. The plants themselves don’t care. The seed will all sprout and grow, producing a regular looking ear, no matter if it was a flat seed or a round seed that was planted.

I keep a close eye on these saved cobs of corn. I don’t want mice or birds getting to them. I think it could be said that I almost baby them. I check on them often and protect them. Once the seed has been removed from the cob and stored in a paper bag, I guard that pretty close too. This seed will continue to adapt to our climate. It will grow much in the way that I select the seed. Large ears from stalks that stand up and color just to make this farmer smile.

The big ears will continue to get larger. The stalks will have to get a little bigger or stronger to hold the large ears. It is a sort of circle. If the big ears have fallen over, even though they are large, they are no good for seed, because the stalk couldn’t hold them up. Like livestock, seed must be culled hard as you save only the best. A good farmer will have to make some tough choices at times. His culls will be better stock than other guys even possess. As tough as it is, that is a very good problem to have

This was a sunrise the other morning. It tells me that foul weather is coming. I know that a storm or at least more rain is headed our way, but it sure is a pretty way to let me know. Before the weather turns rough, I hope to have much of the outside work completed. The corn crop all harvested, seed saved and set aside, now its on the the last of the firewood needing to be gathered. The small farm can present plenty to do, but with amazing sunrises and sunsets to start and end the days, its fine with me.



Corn Harvest 2020
Abby, Amee and me

October 10, 2020

The corn harvest is going very well so far this fall. The ground is dry instead of our usual mud at harvest time. The Suffolk horses are doing a great job and the corn is husking fairly easy.

I added a nose guard on Amee. Its a wire basket that keeps her from eating corn the whole time we are working. I wouldn’t mind if she grabs a leaf or stalk once in a while, but she is a hog! The worst thing is, she gets her head into the next row, then when I ask them to move up, she heads down the wrong row! This did not please me at all!

The wire basket cured her bad behavior. She now walks and stops just as expected with no unexpected movement of the wagon as I walk alongside. They have settled in and are doing great.

We pick 8 to 12 rows a day. My cousin has been helping me do it. We share laughs and chuckles along the way. We also enjoy finding the different colored or very large ears. It has been a wonderful season so far!

Time for a late lunch



The Challenge of Making Dry Hay
July 29, 2014, 12:34 pm
Filed under: July 2014 | Tags: , , ,

Buckwheat Blooms in July

Buckwheat Blooms in July


July 29, 2014

We have had an interesting “last few days”. Saturday our youngest son and his wife welcomed a new baby boy. Keagan was 9 pounds 10 ounces. He is a big bouncing baby boy, born to two very happy parents…and grandparents too!

Yesterday we got a total of over two inches of rain. The weather is cool, with water standing in many places. The animals are lounging about like they are on vacation. I guess they are on a vacation of sorts, because even the greenhead biting flies are leaving them alone due in part to the cool weather.

The experimental oat and buckwheat field is doing well. The buckwheat is in full bloom. The pollinators are very happy and buzzing about. The field looks pretty good and will be cut for hay soon…. just need some dry weather.

The challenge of making dry hay gets tougher every year. It seems that the rain comes every third day…just short of the time needed to dry hay. I have a new “arrow in my quiver” with our new tedder. The ground drive model that we have is made by Master Equipment here in Ohio.

We have used it twice so far and have been very impressed with its performance. I think it will come in handy when we make the buckwheat and oat hay and especially when trying to dry the sorghum/Sudan hay. I am sure patience will be my best friend, as I wait for a string of sunny dry days.

Crazy weather and extra shifts have made for a tough hay year for me, but so far all is well. I am very sure the animals will appreciate my efforts come winter as they munch on hay made from the sweat of my brow and losing sleep to work with the sunny days as they come.

Actually, I sleep better knowing that the hay is mostly made, the corn is growing and the pastures are holding up well. We are blessed for sure….not to mention the new helper born next door!

Open pollinated and looking good

Open Pollenated and looking good