Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Corn predators & ripening

As the time to harvest corn for seed has come, I've noticed that some of the Blue Aztec, has been eaten by something.  The chickens are too dumb to know to peel back the corn to get to the kernels.  What has eaten the corn?  Rabbits?  Hares?  Magpies?  Something else?

It must be something ground-based.  Here's a Bloody Butcher cob which I peeled back, which is perhaps 1.5 meters off the ground.  I figured that pulling back the husk on this cob would serve a few purposes.  Firstly, if there were birds eating it, they'd easily find it and have a go.  And secondly, I'd be able to see if it would make a difference in ripening it from a yellow colour to the dark red it should be when dried.  It's been exposed for a week, and has gained some redness as can be seen.

The Bloody Butcher gave consistently big cobs.  Most of them are still on the stalks, as few have ripened sufficiently.  I'm not sure how well they'll do in the frosts.  And I'm not sure if they will ripen, or produce viable seed, if I tear them all out and dry them in the shed.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Kimchi attempt #3

Kimchi attempt #1 worked fine.  Kimchi attempt #2 acquired some yeast, probably through being stirred with wooden chopsticks that couldn't be thoroughly cleaned.

This is kimchi attempt #3.  It uses up a variety of the last vegetables of autumn.  The baby corn which hadn't matured, from my corn plots.  The green tomatoes from my dying tomato plants.  The radishes from my front garden.  The garlic I grew last year.  A red onion I grew last year.  And the rest, I likely bought.

Inspired by a chow chow recipe I saw, I skipped the chilli pepper flakes this time, and added yellow mustard seed.  I've also left it on the bench, rather than putting it in a dark cupboard.  The jars are reasonably sized, the chopping board however is oversized, so probably throws perspective out.

I'll see how this attempt goes..