Saturday, August 9, 2008

Popcorn Harvest!

One of the new-to-me plants in my garden this year is popcorn. It's the most popular snack in my home, so I thought I'd try growing some. I chose this dwarf variety, called Tom Thumb. Appropriate, wouldn't you say? Yesterday evening I managed to fight my way into that overgrown quadrant of the garden. I found several ears with dried out looking husks. So I harvested a few of them. Aren't they darling? I've never seen such tiny ears of fully mature corn.

It remains to be seen how this popcorn will pop up, but I'm guessing the miniature kernels will make rather small popped pieces. The optimal moisture content for popcorn is apparently somewhere around 15%. I have no idea how I'm going to determine the moisture content of the kernels. But I do know that these ears will need to dry down a bit before I try popping a test batch. I'll give it at least a few weeks before I try it. Look for a post on making perfect oil-popped popcorn soon. It's much cheaper than that awful microwaved stuff!

I also harvested a few sugar pumpkins yesterday and the very first of my Cherokee Trail of Tears black beans. I've never grown beans before either as I'm not a fan of green beans. But these are a dried bean variety, and we do love our bean soups. These are beautiful, jet black and very shiny little gems. I'll post a picture of them when I have harvested a larger amount. I'll definitely grow more of them next year.

Related posts:
Dealing with the Popcorn Harvest
When to Harvest Popcorn


Sortin'ItAllOut said...

Hi I was looking for information on when to harvest popcorn and found your blog! I love your blog, I'm going to follow it. It is so relevant to my life!

Thank-you for a great blog.

Kate said...

Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad my thoughts have something to offer you.


Anonymous said...

I also planted popcorn and was looking for advice on what to do with it now that I've harvested it. Have you found any sources of info on how to dry it and store it?
I have stumbled onto your site and thinking I'm going to love exploring much of the info!

Kate said...

Hi, Anon! No, I haven't gone looking for information about how to dry down popcorn. I did read a while back that the ideal moisture content for popcorn is something like 13%. I sort of scratched my head on that one, wondering how I would ever determine the moisture content of my homegrown popcorn, or drive it to the correct moisture percentage if it were off. No doubt the big ag popcorn producers have fancy equipment and metrics. Our approach has simply been to husk the corn and let it sit around in an open basket to dry down. Native Americans used to pop this stuff, so figure that fancy measuring equipment isn't necessary. I haven't bothered to re-test our popcorn since shortly after harvest, when it failed to pop. I'll give it another try today or tomorrow and see how it does. I'm thinking it's dry enough by now.

I hope you'll find some other useful things on my blog. Thanks for stopping by.


sortin'itallout said...

Hi, we just harvested some popcorn just yesterday and my sources say to dry for anywhere from 1 week to 6 weeks. When it is easily removed from the cob is when it is done.

We are excited to try our popcorn! It was a fun experience.

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

I just found your blog and I love it. I have a question - how exactly do you best get the kernels off of the cob?

Kate said...

EOL, it's pretty much bare-handed brute force. I just work off a few kernels toward the narrow tip of the ear and then the rest of the kernels are easier to remove. EasiER, not easy.