Sunday, December 12, 2010

January 28th, 2010 – Fresh Corn

January 28th, 2010 – Fresh Corn
I can’t believe I forgot to write about sweet corn we harvested last December!
My father sowed sweet corn in a row between coffee trees. Without even noticing, one day, all the corns became ripe almost to the point of not being good for eating boiled. We call it green corn. The mature kind, still juicy, we make several type of desserts, varying from puddings, steamed pockets to cakes. We usually don’t eat home processed cornmeal, as we prefer to buy them at the grocery store. My hint is that the dry corns get so tough to grind that it is better to be machine processed.
I walked down the path to the corn field. All the hair was turning from bright red to dry brown. I held my breath and quickly picked a few and ran home to boil some, violating the rule of thumb of putting water to boil before going out to harvest them. Nevertheless, they were good.
As it is usual, I offered my neighbor some. Fast as she can be, she called all her relatives living in a nearby town to announce that off season fresh corn was out for sale. R$2,00 a dozen. This is a little over US$1,00. Cheap even for us. People ordered by multiples of dozen. After recruiting my father and my 8-year old daughter to harvest the whole field, we got several dozens, but prime corns, only 20% of it. I learned that only 2 or 3 corns are really good for retail sales, and the rest on the plant is considered a refuse. For a day, I thought this to be a good business to have. People were fighting for corns. The end of second day, after driving around to deliver the corns and giving away most of it, I came home with R$60,00 (US$33.00). It felt nice to have some money, but thinking about the whole process - the day my father went out to sow, times that he had to work carrying a heavy backpack pressure sprayer, hiring someone to weed, spending expensive fuel to deliver the corns and taking the risk to unplease my customers – it was worth for the fun, but not financially.
My neighbor dona Rosa told me that sowing in January would get me the best corn. Will I sow all over again? Maybe. But I won’t sell it, unless it is very easy or very exp

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