everything i know about farming

This is the field that abuts our house in the winter:

It is humid and in the 80s here today, so that picture just looks like a different universe. But that’s it. Actually this picture was taken on Valentine’s Day, when we got back from Mexico. THAT was a warm homecoming.

Two and a half months later, May 3rd…same field, but from a different angle:

I was facing east, so this is an early morning shot. Perfect rows of itty-bitty baby corn.  Corn leaves are considered a grass, by the way. Whatever that means. But they are more grassy-like, whereas soy is more leafy.

Two months later, taken yesterday, the same field:

This is an exceptionally healthy, lush field. It is tall and a gorgeous dark green (that reflects a high nitrogen content. which is a good thing, apparently).  If you can’t tell, this corn is at least 8′ tall.

Last year, this same field held soy beans. Putting corn on a crop that last held soy is “an automatic yield bump”.  This has something to do with how nicely soy redistributes its nitrogen into the soil.  I’ve heard soy described as a near magical plant.

This is a tassle:

This corn “tassled” just over the weekend – these shoots sprout up and lends a corn field a yellowish color. The tassle is the pollinator of the corn.

I’ve heard it said that you can actually hear the corn grow in Iowa – I haven’t, myself, but wouldn’t be surprised. Two months ago these stalks didn’t come up to my ankles..now if they’re 9′, that’s 108″ over about 62 days..that’s almost two inches a day!  It’s fun to watch everything change in the early summer.

This is the silk:

It makes the corn stalk super pretty and can be this yellowy-white, or purplish.  Pollen drops from the tassel and is caught by the silk – every piece of pollen produces a kernel of corn. Pretty neat, huh?  Obviously, at some point the silk becomes encapsulated in the husk and then gets peel or combined away.

Can you find the dog?

He so loves running through the corn (and the 30″ spacing between rows fit him perfectly) that I fear he will pick up some of the pollen and start growing corn kernels himself.


One thought on “everything i know about farming

  1. Lydia

    thanks for maintaining the blog, i’ve been lurking for a while and am very interested to see what happens next. i’m 32 and just starting my pre-reqs in the fall, so the road is long but….your blog has certainly motivated and encouraged me. Thanks!

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