Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gardening: Corn?

I was resting on the porch the other afternoon when I saw an unfamiliar weed popping up beside the newly planted rosemary. I had never seen it before in my garden, so I reasoned that it must be some kind of tag-along from the rosemary start, which had come from a farm stand we had not used before. I dug it out and, to my surprise, attached to the roots was CORN!

Now there was a mystery: How did the corn get there? There was a perfect bunch, like someone had planted it. Did it come in with the rosemary? Did it fall out of Mr. Farmer's pocket while he planted the rosemary? Did the chickens somehow bring it over during their brief freedom a few days previously? Were the squirrels and chipmunks being industrious in hiding food even though it was spring?

One of the few negatives of making your own soil from manure is that it isn't always easy to tell when it is "ready". Apparently at some point in the process, 2 manure piles became one. So, when I was adding earth to the last section of the herb garden, I must have wandered into the newer part of the pile. A fair amount of undigested, unsprouted corn was in that part of the pile, and it ended up in my herb bed! Mystery solved.

Of course I was tempted to leave the corn grow, but that delusion passed quickly. We do not have the space or proper conditions for corn, and this was feed corn anyway. So I dug it up (in several places!) and fed the plants and seeds back to the pigs.

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