Corn

Corn has been a staple in mankind’s diet since the very beginning of time. It is first mentioned in Genesis 27:28 when Isaac is tricked into blessing Jacob instead of Esau. There are several verses of blessing included here, but having “plenty of corn” is in the first verse of the blessing.

Years later, corn was still a big part of Jacob’s life when his most loved son, Joseph, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, but then was blessed by God and rose to such a great position of power… he was put in charge of gathering corn for the coming famine. (see Genesis 41:48-49) Joseph gathered so much corn, it was as the “sand of  the sea” and became too much to keep a count of.

There are many diets that prohibit corn due to it being full of natural sugars and carbs. Jacob and his family would have starved, if there had not been available corn.

This year, with my husband’s help, I got my corn planted on Good Friday. After a second tilling of the soil, we made rows, added fertilizer, and dropped seeds. Toward the end, we were planting in a pretty good rain storm, but we got the job done.

We planted our corn in this fenced in area at the back of our garden.

We planted our corn in this fenced in area at the back of our garden.

In the South, there is a great significance to planting on Good Friday. Many gardeners have little hope in having a successful crop unless they get the planting done on this day.

If you don’t understand the meaning of  Good Friday here is a link to a good explanation.

Jesus died on the cross on the day that people call Good Friday. He arose again, and with that resurrection, He broke the chains of sin for us if we accept His sacrifice. When we plant on Good Friday, we are burying the seed in the hopes of a resurrection of new life from that seed. We are fed (physically) from that seed’s burial and resurrection to new life, just as we are fed (spiritually) from “The Word” .

There are several meanings when you think of being fed from “The Word.” Most Christians think of being fed (spiritually) from the Bible as we study it, but in John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” From this verse we know that Jesus is the Word, and He has always been… from the beginning. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, He has provided salvation which feeds our hearts with a transformed life and fills us up.

God has provided so many examples in His creation, of the death, burial, and resurrection, that we are “without excuse” when we say we do not understand (see Romans 1:20) .

Our corn is beginning to ressurect out of the hard, dry ground.

Our corn is beginning to resurrect out of the hard, dry ground.

So when you watch your seed popping out of the ground in your garden, in another form than when it went into the ground, I hope you will think about these things, and be reminded of what Jesus has done for us.

If you didn’t get your corn planted on Good Friday, it is not too late. Plant those seeds and hopefully you will have so much corn you will not be able to count it.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

 

Project Update

Last Monday I had a list of projects that I wanted to complete. The week flew by, and I felt I would never get anything accomplished. On Saturday, I worked on several of the projects, while my husband worked on getting some areas ready for planting grass. The plan was….divide and conquer.

My chief focus of work on Saturday was to get the corn planted. I have noted in past years, that if I wait too long to plant the corn, it tends to have more problems with worms eating the ends of the ears. Pests have their own cycles of development from larva to adults. If you can learn to plant during times the pests are not in a stage for eating crops, you will need less pest control intervention.

The area that I chose to plant the corn in has never been planted to  a crop. This area contains blueberry bushes, an apple tree, peach tree, two fig trees, and a small chicken lot. I had planted one lemon balm plant years ago and the lemon balm took over the area.

Lemon balm and weed overgrowth.

Lemon balm and weed overgrowth.

The trellis was placed in this area, several years ago, for blackberry and raspberry plants to trail on. The lemon balm and weeds choked out those berry plants.

I tilled the area and had been working to clear it off over several weeks. We finally took off a chain link panel at the back of the area so I could get the tractor in for deeper tilling.

Chain link fence removed for better tilling.

Chain link fence removed for better tilling.

The tractor cleared more of the weeds and overgrowth of lemon balm.

The tractor cleared more of the weeds and overgrowth of lemon balm.

I then took my small rototiller back in for the final clearing.

Area needing more tilling.

Area needing more tilling.

Area under peach tree that needed more tilling.

Area under peach tree that needed more tilling.

Under the peach tree was a large pot with a dwarf peach tree that I have had for years. It has never had any fruit. I removed it from the container and planted it in the ground.

The peach tree already looks better in the ground.

The peach tree already looks better in the ground.

I placed some old landscape fabric around it to prevent weed growth until we can get another load of mulch to put around this tree.

I tilled the area, over and over again, and below are the final pictures of the weed free soil.

Same area where we had removed the chain link section.

Same area where we had removed the chain link section. The section was replaced in this picture.

Area under peach tree.

Area under peach tree.

We replaced the chain link section and I got the corn planted. I also planted more blackberry and raspberry plants in front of the trellis and laid down landscape fabric. This area will look much better when we get a load of mulch applied over the fabric.

Berry plants in front of trellis with landscape fabric.

Berry plants in front of trellis with landscape fabric.

There is still a lot of work to do in this area, but it is coming together. I moved the smaller of the two fig trees to the back trellis so it would not be in the way for planting corn or other future crops.

It is a load off my plate to be finished with this area for a little while so I can concentrate on the main garden. If you have big projects like this to complete, hang in there. Do what you can, a little at a time, and you will surprise yourself one day and actually get it completed.

This Week’s Garden Projects

I did not get any of the projects completed that I had planned for this week. Yesterday, I worked on getting the fenced in area ready for planting corn, but that job is not yet completed either….sigh!

Fence panel off for tilling with tractor.

Fence panel off for tilling with tractor, before tilling began.

I used the tractor with the tiller attachment to speed up the process, but I will have to take my small tiller in to complete the work.

Tractor with tiller attachment.

Tractor with tiller attachment.

After tilling with tractor.

After tilling with tractor.

Since I had the attachment on the tractor, I decided to also till down the big dirt piles in the front yard and get them ready to plant grass.

Bottom view of dirt pile to be worked down.

Before, large dirt pile. This dirt was dug out of the flower bed next to the house.

After dirt pile was tilled down.

After dirt pile was tilled down.

This area still needs work to smooth it before we put the grass seeds in. We are planting grass at the wrong time of year so it will need much water to pull it through.

My garden is still not planted. I have not gotten the raised beds cleaned out. It is getting late in the season and I need to have the garden cleaned and planted by the end of the month at least.

I pray for God’s help and leave it in his hands. That is all I can do.

Tomorrow is another day for which I will make myself say…..

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24

Have a great weekend and Memorial Day!

 

 

 

 

Planting Seeds

Yesterday I began planting seeds in my greenhouse.

Seeds started in recycled containers

Seeds started in recycled containers

This time of year always gets my heart excited for a new start in the garden. All the old weeds and last years mistakes can be wiped away and hope begins to grow. (“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NISB)

I had to plant the seeds that take the longest time to germinate and grow, around six to eight weeks, so they would be ready to set out after the last frosts in early May.

I planted seeds for my flower beds and pots…. Geraniums, Hosta seeds, and Sweet Peas.

Sweet Peas, have such a hard shell they have to be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting. The parable in Luke 8:5-15 covers seeds and soil. To this parable I would like to add another, a seed whose shell is so hard, it has to be soaked down, to soften the exterior and let the life giving nutrients in. Those with hard shells know what I mean.

Sweet Pea Villa Roma Scarlett seeds soaking to soften the hard shell

Sweet Pea Villa Roma Scarlett seeds, soaking to soften their hard shells.

Once seeds are planted I lightly cover with potting soil using an old soup ladle to scoop and  sprinkle the dirt

Once seeds are planted, I lightly cover with potting soil using an old soup ladle to scoop and sprinkle the dirt.

I also planted Cauliflower and Jalapeno peppers. In summer, fresh Jalapeno peppers make the best Mexican cornbread ever.

Below is my recipe for the easiest Mexican cornbread ever. Cooking and baking doesn’t have to be hard.

2 cups self-rising buttermilk cornmeal

To a one cup measure, add 2 eggs and fill the rest of the way with oil

Add  one cup of buttermilk

Mix thoroughly

Add 1 small can of drained corn or equivalent of fresh corn

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (low fat works fine)

Add 1-2, depending on size and taste , fresh, diced, Jalapeno peppers (in the winter use diced from a jar, to taste)

Bake in 8×8 dish, sprayed with Pam, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

ENJOY!

Planting Potatoes

A weedy bed

A weedy bed

When weeds grow this well, even in winter, then you know the soil is rich. The bed had to be cleaned off. Thus began my potato planting day.

Peat Moss, Compost, Cow Manure

Peat Moss, Compost, Cow Manure

I gathered the components that I wanted to add to the soil to produce great potatoes. Potatoes like an acid soil. If the soil is not acid enough the potatoes will be disfigured by scab. Peat moss is a good way to make the soil more acidic.

Planting tools

Planting tools

It is important to gather everything you need to work with first. When I went to get the wheelbarrow the tire was flat. I just love the person who invented fix-a-flat. I have used it many times to pump up flat tires on garden equipment.

cleaning off the bed

cleaning off the bed

IMG_0074

I used a shovel to get the weeds and their roots.

Adding peat moss, compost, manure

Adding peat moss, compost, manure

I added the peat moss, compost, and manure, then mixed it into the soil with the girl-sized mattock you can see behind the bed.

Jerry Baker's way to do a soil ph test.

Jerry Baker’s way to do a soil ph test.

I netflixed a Jerry Baker garden DVD, which told how to do a home test to check the ph of your soil. You mix equal parts of soil and vinegar. I used a 1/4 cup measure for both. You shake them up together in a jar. When you remove the lid if  you hear a sizzling sound, the soil is acidic. If you don’t hear any sound, the soil is alkaline. My soil sizzled loudly. I was so excited. I felt the soil was acidic enough to avoid the potato scab.

The tool my dad made for me to use for planting.

The tool my dad made for me to use for planting.

IMG_0083 IMG_0079

I consider my dad to be a master gardner. He is always coming up with interesting ways to do things easier. This is a tool he made from a gum tree branch. It is great for punching holes in the soil to put in potatoes, seedlings, or seeds… and it was free! Score!

Kennebec seed potatoes, for white potatoes.

Kennebec seed potatoes, for white potatoes.

Red Pontiac seed potatoes for red-skinned potatoes

Red Pontiac seed potatoes for red-skinned potatoes

I bought 2 pounds each of white and red seed potatoes at the local hardware store for a grand total of $2.52. I cut them in pieces, making sure there was at least one “eye” on each piece. I left the pieces in big chunks to give the tiny plants something to live off of until their roots form. I ended up getting about 80 pieces from 4 pounds of potatoes.

Potatoes at home in their holes.

Potatoes at home in their holes.

Potatoes covered with straw.

Potatoes covered with straw.

I covered the potatoes with a light layer of soil, then added straw. As the plants grow I will add more straw to prevent green spots on the potatoes that occur when the sunlight hits them. I also covered the bed with chicken wire for now, to prevent animals from digging in the bed.

The potatoes are planted. I love to eat new potatoes either boiled with salt and butter, or baked rosemary potatoes, with olive oil, salt, and fresh rosemary. It makes me hungry just thinking about warmer days and my potato crop.