Corn is one of the most versatile crops you can grow on your land. It can be used to feed a variety of animals, be mashed and mushed into new creations, and feed your family in abundance for very little effort. Corn also grows just about anywhere, loves lots of sunshine, and does well with an abundance of water. Most corn is also resistant to most types of insects. You might notice ants, aphids, wasps, or other critters making friendly with the moist areas on your corn plants, but their effects on the end result are negligible and easy to manage organically in small operations.
Corn is one of the easiest vegetables to cultivate, you can buy seed or used dried kernels from a previous harvest. Individual corn kernels are planted in rows 1-2 inches deep, roughly 12-16 inches apart with roughly 2 feet between rows, and take around 3 months to mature. The average stock of corn can grow between 4 and 8 ears of corn.
The uses of corn are truly endless, here are a few that will serve your desire to live simple:
1. Use corn as an alternative to high priced chicken feed. Ears of corn that are properly dried require a simple twisting of the wrist to free the kernels from the cob. The end result is something that looks like popcorn kernels (pre-pop!) and can be mixed with other dry vegetable matter or feeden directly to poultry! See picture:
2. Ground corn into flour which can be used in making breads, tortillas, and many other recipes. Try these: Creamy Leek and Corn Orzo, and Green Chile Corn Muffins, or visit this extensive list of corn recipes.
3. There are obviously other opportunities to eat corn whole, on the cob, after a good boil with any number of meals. Corn can also be cut, canned, creamed and so on. Whole corn left in the husk will also save for up to a few weeks if refrigerated properly.
4. A secret, and seldom known benefit to corn is also the plant that’s left after harvest! If you’re running a small operation you might look into getting a small wood chipper, for example the McCulloch MCS2001 14 amp Electric Chipper/Shredder, to grind what’s left of the stocks, cobs, husks and so on into a mulch you can put into your compost pile!