Friday, October 31, 2008

Frugal Friday - Gleaning the Fields

I was thinking about it earlier today, and I bet there will be a lot of 'how to cook your jack-o-lantern' blog posts for this Frugal Friday. Not me! We're gleaning popcorn!

When we were back in Kentucky visiting family, the man who farms next door to Uncle Bill's Cabin said we were welcome to glean his popcorn field. The deer had already been through, but we did find a few intact ears of popcorn. So, what do you do with them after that?

Since we just have a few ears, we're just shelling them by hand, on the front porch, on a warm afternoon.
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The bowl is filling up!
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There are some things in this bowl we don't want to eat - corn silks, bits of cob, etc. So, we're going to winnow our popcorn! All you need is a light breeze (or a fan) and a couple of containers. Pour the popcorn back and forth, slowly. The popcorn kernels are heavy, and the other things are light - so they will blow away on the breeze, leaving us with clean popcorn.
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Now, just to be sure, we'll put it in the colander and 'sift' it a bit. That will get any heavier bits of cob separated. And, this is such a small amount that it's very easy to visually inspect it, too!
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The 'waste' will go to the chickens - so nothing is wasted.
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There it is! Our gleaned popcorn! We store our popcorn in the freezer, which ensures it won't get nibbled by any bugs. Frozen popcorn is supposed to pop bigger too!
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Our total 'harvest' was almost four cups. We usually pop a half cup in our popper, so that's 8 movie nights! Not bad for a fun little (free) project, and some neat learning. We saved the corn cobs - we'll burn them in the wood stove - and I saved the husks as well. If I can figure it out, we're going to make a corn husk doll!

4 comments:

stacey said...

if anyone can "figure out" how to make a corn husk doll, that would be you. love this cat! you are such a fun mom!

Mom2fur said...

That must have been a lot of fun to do. I can only imagine how good fresh popcorn tastes!

HisEllieMae said...

Woohoo! How fun for Kitten to harvest her own popcorn. She should be very proud, too!

We have three rows of popcorn from this year's little 'experiment.' I haven't picked the kernels from the cobs yet ~ any chance Kitten would like to visit the Prairie Farmstead and get our popcorn ready for popping? I sure could use the help of those perfect little fingers! Heehee!

Thank you for the idea of burning the cobs in the wood stove ~ I hadn't even thought of that...and what terrific fire starters they will make!

tenthingsfarm said...

Ellie Mae, just so you know - corn cobs burn HOT. Hot enough to get things 'too hot' if you're not careful. So just a couple at a time, ok? :)

The whole thing WAS fun...if you enjoy sore thumbs! Truthfully, shelling dry corn (field corn or popcorn) will make your fingers sore, but for a small amount, it's not so bad!

Thanks for the comments, y'all! :)

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