Friday, August 26, 2005

sweet corn is in

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I have been playing around with the lucet, and trying out different things you can do with it.  Since I will be teaching it at our next workshop, I figured that I would like to have some samples to pass around and hopefully inspire the students to use their imaginations to create unique and beautiful cords of their own.
I decided to try adding beads to a cord.  This is done by simply stringing a separate strand (of whatever thread you would like to use) with beads of your choice.  I used these little shell bits that were about the same shade of ecru as the cotton thread ...I wanted to make a  sort of necklace that reminded me of the sandy beaches where I recently spent my vacation. 
Once you have the beads on the thread, you can insert them into your design.  I started lucetting with both strands of Clarks mercerized crochet cord, for a length of 3 or 4 inches, then I pulled a bead up to the center of the lucet.  After that it was a matter of counting every twelfth turn, and inserting another bead.  This method kept the beads evenly spaced and on the outer edge of the finished cord.  I was able to make this little cord in less than an hour.
Out in the garden, the corn continues to grow...look at the difference a few weeks makes....
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we have been harvesting it for a week or two now, and everyone is getting just a little tired of eating it for supper almost every night!
It is a pretty good year for corn, but not as good as last years harvest as far as development of the ears is concerned.  I cannot attribute this to the variety (as I grew several different types)...but I think it is due to the growing conditions.  The bottom of the ear is nicely developed, with the top inch or two lacking kernel.  At first I thought it might be a pollination problem, but after reading up on it, I have determined that it is due to the heat and lack of rain while the kernels were forming.  I could have avoided this problem by watering the corn, but I was on it is the price I pay for taking some time off!  I have also noticed a small area of smut in the patch ...which I eradicated immediately.
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One thing for certain is the beauty of this stalk.  This variety is called True Platinum.  It was developed by A. Kapuler   - the same fellow responsible for bringing back the Elephant Head amaranth.  I ordered it from Seeds of Change.  The stalk is a sort of purple and the husks are striped.  I am saving the husks (and some of the cobs) for use on the Great Wheel.  Sharon Peffer advised me to use corn husk soaked in lanolin on the shaft of the spindle- so that I can easily remove the spun yarn.  I read in a book on Colonial Times that you can use a corn cob on the shaft of the spindle, to serve as a bobbin.  I have been letting the chickens have the corn cobs (when we are finished) and they do a nice job of cleaning them for me!  All I need to do is dry them now.
Speaking of chickens....I have two new pullets around the now we have a total of 17.  These are a pair of aracunas that were born this past spring.  Many thanks to MaryAnne for sending them "up river"!  Right now I have them in a holding pen until they acclimate to their new location.  Chickens have to stay in a coup for several days before you can let them out to free range.  I think it takes them a while to remember where home is.
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One last notation:  we had a bear raid on the Rubbermaid trash can this week.  I have placed the nail board near the rabbit hutches and need to get a motion detector light set up out there.  I expect the bears are starting to beef up more indication that perhaps we will have an early frost this year.  The leaves are beginning to turn and some are falling already.


Liz said...

Oh, don't say the "f" word. I feel it coming, but it's just too soon. We've just started getting tomatoes!

Judy said...

Hey, we still have cucumbers for you!!! Just joking unless you really want them!!! I gave away three bags full in as many days!!! We are now into the tomatoes. By Wednesday when we have time to can again, the garden should be full again. Who told us to plant all this? Curt is building the Rabbit Majal or at least that is what it looks like! Don't care if they give fiber, Tori is in heaven.

Leslie Shelor said...

Love the idea of fresh sweet corn; don't know if I'd ever get tired of it! Great to have the chickens; hoping to start my little flock next year!

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