The backyard, and I do mean this city backyard where I reside, is now being transformed into a Permaculture setting. Food producing trees and bushes have been planted, and fences erected to protect luscious annual crops from sharp animal teeth.
One particular fenced area, one foot deep holes were dug, and different natural fertilizer mixtures including fish (as in the traditional three sisters method), compost, and aged sheep manure, were shoveled into the seven staggered holes, with the topsoil heaped over the top. This in preparation for the Hopi Blue corn seed, with sisters Rattlesnake Pole beans and various types of watermelon.
Picture shows holes filled with natural fertilizer. The hills were planted with five corn seed, and surrounded with bean seeds, with the watermelon planted along the edges.
Although June was a cool month, here in USDA Planting Zone 5 Wisconsin, the corn and beans were off to a terrific start! Then came the hail. A fantastic looking front came bearing down from the Niagra Escarpment west, and the monster tall wall thunderheads let loose 4+ minutes of hail, the largest the size of golf balls. All of the plants were pommeled. The plants that were cut off at ground level didn’t make it.
But the rest of them grew out new leaves, as this mid-August above picture highlights.
Late Septmeber I harvested the corn by cutting the stalk at ground level, leaving the roots in the ground to decompose. Planning to compost the stalks for its nitrogen and biomass content.
One of the stalks glowed dark red!
The hills with multiple fish produced the most ears!
After a few months of drying in the shed, the cobs were packed into a cardboard box in wait for a cold winter day. Last week was that day, when I hand shelled the corn from the cobs.
The first setting for the full kernals was tested to allow for an easy grind, as I had plans to regrind the corn until it became a semi-fine flour.
Second grind was adjusted tighter, but left loose enough for an easy turn.
Tightened the mill down for a third hard turn, but the reward was nearly two gallons of beautiful blue corn meal!
Mixed 1.5 cups each of corn meal and standard organic flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and baking power, then mixed. In a separate bowl mixed 1 cup each of honey and buttermilk, and 2 eggs whipped to a lather. The picture above shows all the ingrediants thoroughly mixed.
After filling the cups, 1 teaspoon of olive oil was poured on the top of the mixture, over each muffin. Placed in the oven at 400 degrees for 3o minutes, baked. Golden brown on top, the center poked with a fork to determine its condition, removing a clean fork indicating well done!
The blue color of the kernals stood out, the flavor held in high regard. Video of the entire process can be found here: (more…)