|Golden Bantam Corn|
There goes my attempt at a snappy title. Sigh
As the photo to your immediate right clearly shows -- it is "corn season" in the Backyard of Bird." The harvest is back -- and back in a big way this summer after an absolutely horrible showing last year -- a fact that I blamed on 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith.
Don't get me wrong here. Alex Smith is still an unbelievable FLOP in the NFL -- and for some strange reason he's back for yet another MISERABLE season in the City by the Bay. As KFI Radio -- and former NewsTalk 1530 KFBK personality extraordinaire -- Shannon Farren correctly posted on Facebook recently: "7 years of Alex Smith. Who broke that damn mirror?"
Shannon was never one to hide her feelings -- nor the occasional F-Bomb dropped in a newsroom setting.
OK -- so it wasn't occasional. Shannon's language in a radio newsroom could and did make more than one sailor blush. But that's another story for another day.
|Test Bed: Bird Back 40|
Still to come? About five more rows. Provided the weather holds -- we'll be harvesting giant ears of corn through September.
|Final Golden Bantam Harvest: 13 ears|
Thanks to a couple of recipe suggestions and canning recipes delivered by Farmer Fred Hoffman -- we will be enjoying fresh-from-the-backyard corn all winter long.
|Emerging Ears of Lip-Smacking Golden Bantam Corn|
I was somewhat shocked to discover that this yellow corn variety also resulted in kernels that were colored a bright orange. At first? I thought this might have been the result of leaving the corn on the stalk for a might too long. But those fears were unfounded. Venus and I were happy to discover that each orange-colored kernel was packed with a jolt of natural sugar.
|Bright Yellow and Orange Kernels on Golden Bantam|
The Lockhart Seed wasn't an heirloom variety. Lockhart Seed doesn't necessarily specialize in heirloom varieties, which isn't bad. What Lockhart Seed does specialize in is varieties that are specifically adapted to our San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley climates. Although it's entirely probably that some cross-pollination has taken place with the later varieties -- my hope (prayer would probably be a better word) is that since both are yellow varieties, we should be OK.
That's my hope anyway. I've seen cross-pollination before between yellow, white and baby corn varieties that have been planted far to close together. The results are indeed Frankensteinish. And the taste wasn't all that good either.
The variety in question -- Bodacious -- was planted about a month after the Golden Bantam -- and the stalks are now about four feet in height. The first green tassels from the developing ears have already emerged and my best guess is that we're still another three weeks away from a first harvest -- provided the weather holds. We have been lucky in that respect. After a colder than normal spring, the last two months have been outstanding.
And so my friends -- I come to you with this advice. If you live in the Sacramento Valley and have a small plot of room -- you can plant corn and you can harvest delicious ears later in the summer.
This is despite the presence of a quarterback named Alex Smith who appears have locked up yet another year of starting play for your San Francisco 49ers.
Keep the bar well stocked. It's going to be yet another long winter.