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Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest

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Posted: 7/25/2014 10:43 AM

Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


Last night, 11 dozen ears of Silver Queen!  Woohoo!  Lots more to come.  Some of it has worms in it.  I haven't sprayed much.  But they don't eat much and they don't affect the quality much if they stay at the tip.  I had 2 ears for dinner last night and they were delicious!  I'm selling it for $2 per dozen.  Not bad.  Should make back my $12 for the pound of seed easily.  

Also picked a bunch of Elderberries.  Got a bunch Saturday and put them in the freezer.  It's easier to pluck the berries off the clusters if they're frozen.  Or so I've read.  So i froze them.  Need to trade positions with these new ones tonight.  Never picked Elderberries before.  Missed the opportunity last summer to the birds.  They still got a bunch this summer, but I got some, too.  Maybe I have enough to experiment with.  I have 3 bushes.  i believe one is an Adams and two are Johns.  One of the Adams died right after planting.  I'm going to try to propagate it myself and replace the missing one.  i bought more this summer, Nova and York.  I should have 8 eventually, I hope.  If propagation works, and I like them, then maybe I'll multiply later and have even more.  One step at a time...
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 7/25/2014 11:22 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


What will you make with the berries?

Is your corn sweet, as in taste?  We made a lot this year but I don't know what kind it is.
Betty, Northcentral Louisiana, Zone 8
I asked God for a flower, and He gave me a garden.
I asked Him for a tree, and He gave me a forest.
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Posted: 7/25/2014 12:50 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


For the berries, I'm not sure yet. Probably freeze them for a while and decide when it cools off some. i hope I have about a quart of them when I get done shaking them off of the clusters. but they take up the space of a 5 gallon bucket ON the clusters. I'll play with those this weekend. I think jam or preserves of some kind to start, though. I'm not a wine person, so that's not an option. I have many gallons of blackberries, some blue berries, and strawberries in the freezer. Ought to be able to find something to do with them. I need to find something since I'll have double the bushes producing in a few years. :-)

Corn is sweet, yes. Very tasty. Silver Queen may be the most popular corn of all time. People ask for it by name around here. I'd like to try other corn. Really, I doubt they care, but when you mention the name, they get all excited.
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

Last edited 7/25/2014 12:51 PM by That Compost Guy

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Posted: 7/25/2014 4:57 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 



Yum, Silver Queen is wonderful...good for you!

Dry some of those Elderberries to save on freezer space, oven or dehydrator on lowest heat. It only takes a couple of cups of the dried berries to make a Sambucol type syrup or an Elderberry tincture that will last for months in a cool dark place (1/4 tsp per day). A must have for cold and flu season, effective against about 10 different strains (but not good to use if you have low blood sugar). I think Mountian Rose herbs has some recipes on their web site. I'm still waiting to harvest my 2 European varieties...any day now. I think Elderberries are pretty easy to start from cuttings, not sure if you take them in the fall or spring though...maybe someone else here will know. :)

Zone 9
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Posted: 7/28/2014 7:20 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


I've looked up how to do propagation already. And have read all about the tinctures.
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 7/28/2014 1:02 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


What's the deal with only eating blue or black elderberries, pink ones are supposed to poisonous?

High desert grass and shrubland, zone 5, cold desert of Northern Nevada. 
Reporting live from the deadly Forty Mile Desert of Nevada.
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Posted: 7/29/2014 9:42 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


There are many different kinds. Some ripen to red or pink, some ripen to dark purple almost black. I don't remember what the deal is with the red/pink varieties. I think they're more likely ornamental, or European varieties. The more common edibles turn dark. Mine go from green through red to dark. I know the green ones will give you a tummy ache, but I don't believe they're lethally toxic. Even the dark ones that are ripe are very astringent and I wouldn't want to eat them plain. I think there's a cyanide capacity to them as well that evaporates once they're cooked. Might be something else I was reading about lately. Either way, I just remember don't eat the green ones, and cook them before consuming and I'm fine. Could dry them as well. I'd rather freeze them, myself.

I left the picked berry clusters sitting in a tray in the floor a couple of days and they got this distinctive fermented aroma to them. So I poked them in a bag and froze them. Supposedly, freezing makes them easier to remove from the clusters. As fragile as they are, there won't be any washing them. I'll just enjoy the dust and other things that I'm trying not to think of once I decide to do something with them. The first batch was picked in the rain, so they ought to be clean enough. They went straight into the freezer almost. Not sure I'll try to pick any more. I'll look tonight and see.
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 7/29/2014 1:49 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


Thanks. I saw an ad for ornamental pink elderberries a while back with a "not for human consumption" warning in it. I'm living in a berryless desert here, I miss the berries, of all kinds.

High desert grass and shrubland, zone 5, cold desert of Northern Nevada. 
Reporting live from the deadly Forty Mile Desert of Nevada.
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Posted: 7/29/2014 2:49 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


Many years ago, I bought cut-leaf elderberries from Duncraft...they sold the butterfly weed plants and the elderberries for bird feeding enthusiasts for a time.  They are quite edible for humans, as well, and have done well.  Our old-fashioned wild elderberries have such huge heads compared to the cut-leaf variety.  They just come up volunteer here and there.  Berries are all deep purple, almost black from both kinds.
Sarah in SE IL, zone 6b/5a, a country girl to the bone who never gets tired of planting more beauties.  Life member of NHGC since 12/1996.
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Posted: 7/30/2014 7:01 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


I picked another 23 dozen ears of corn last night. :-) I'm hoping to offload most of it on co-workers. Worked last week. These aren't all nice ears, so I'm taking donations for what they think they're worth. Always interesting. Sometimes it works out better. Never know.

I want to make some corn relish and some corn cob jelly. Must be the time to do it! :-)
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 7/30/2014 10:09 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


Chris, how many acres do you have in corn? Do you plant one seed every 5 or 6 inches in all directions, no open spaces, as the farmers do out here? Or do you use wide irrigation ditches and single rows? My little corn plot has ditches for irrigation but I plant 3 closely spaced rows for each ditch. My water timer failed at a critical growth stage and I didn't catch it in time so my corn is kind of skimpy this year.

I was reading my mother's old 1931 gardening book and it mentioned that from seed plant to harvest it takes 50 gallons of water to grow one corn stalk. For me that is formidable due to the low moisture content of my soil, hopefully you have more natural moisture and less evaporation. The 1931 book also recommended the "dense planting" of corn without open space, 300 sq foot minimum field for proper pollenation.

High desert grass and shrubland, zone 5, cold desert of Northern Nevada. 
Reporting live from the deadly Forty Mile Desert of Nevada.

Last edited 7/30/2014 10:13 AM by ruby2s

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Posted: 7/30/2014 12:17 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


It's an odd shape. It follows the curve in the driveway and runs up to about 6 feet from the anal neighbor's chain link fence guarding the pristine cut grass. I love the contrast between that and my unkempt weed ridden corn patch. :-) The longest row may be 80 feet? Shortest is about 30? There are 12 rows in there, I think. Maybe 14. Basically, I till it and then run the little JD through and mark off rows so I'll know where to plant so I can run through with the cultivator. Center to Center is 4 feet row to row. That's kind of wide for corn, but it works for me here. I use an Earthway planter and the corn disc that comes with it. Looks like every 3 inches or so it drops a kernel. i know that's too dense really, but they do well and I do not thin. i probably should. I buy 1 pound of seed and run the planter until all the seed is gone. I'm getting pretty good at figuring out how far any seed will go. Keeping records helps as well. I do not water the corn at all. Rain, fog, and morning dew is all it gets. I dumped 8 loads of manure on that plot last fall and winter. Won't try to do that again this year. Probably not any this year. It just grows. I'm happy. Wish the Johnsongrass would go away.
--
Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 8/4/2014 7:25 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


Processed all the leftover corn this weekend. Shucked it Saturday evening, blanched it Sunday afternoon. Cut some off the cob to make some relish to can. Needed a gallon, so about 2 dozen ears. That actually is not so hard to do with a good sharp heavy blade and a wrinkled towel on the table. The rest went in the fridge with a wet towel over it to help keep it from drying out. I think there must be 10 or 11 dozen.

Boiled some of the empty cobs to extract the juice to make some corn cob jelly while I was cleaning up. Supposed to use field corn with red cobs. I don't see why it matters. i had these. Not sure what color the cobs are on my field corn. Might try that next if this isn't any good. Have a half gallon to play with. Might just drink it. :-)

All the onions and peppers and cabbage are prepped for the relishes. Just have to dump, stew, jar and can it all. Two different kinds. Totally different flavor profiles. Should be interesting. And tasty!
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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Posted: 8/7/2014 9:00 PM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


I grow corn on a limited area by the following method.    I plant  corn in a hill about 12 inches in diameter each planting  and place the seed in a radial manner about 8  places   I generally plant about spacing of 28" ..   This allows me to conserve watering and support the corn on a center stick support  it also concentrates the corn in area that is easily treated from  root eating pests and those nasty borers that we dislike .  We have a lot of Coon around here since the Park is close and the Fencing of a corn plot planted in such manner due to the density is much less of a problem.   Here in Midwest this is corn country and planted early and covered up we  get an easy two plantings in the same plot per year.  We cannot eat the amount of corn we grow there is such an abundance and its a pleasure to give it away to the neighbors.  I am interested in any new techniques you folks might have on how you plant your corn in small garden plots.
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Posted: 8/8/2014 9:20 AM

Re: Silver Queen corn and Elderberry harvest 


I don't water mine at all and it does wonderful. Used to be that I couldn't get an ear at all. Not full sized anyway. Apparently I have figured out how to grow it and it does very well now.

I can't fence mine in because I like to ride through with the tractor and cultivator early on.

Overall, I have about 8 acres. There are two large 100x100 tilled plots, third is about 40x40. And the corn plot is odd shaped, but roughly 80x40 tapering to 80x10 or so. I need to measure it some day so I'll know how big it really is.
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Chris Behrens
Pendleton, SC (near Clemson, SC)
USDA Cold Zone 7/AHS Heat Zone 7
thatcompostguy@hotmail.com
National Home Gardening Club member since 1998

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