Wednesday is my day off, and the day I head to the feed store. The feed truck arrives early in the morning on Wednesdays, so I know they will be freshly stocked. Some weeks, they sell out of my poultry feed by the weekend.
Although stocking up on fresh feed for my feathered friends and the rest of the barnyard crew is my primary goal, my route takes me down country roads past many micro farms like ours, so all year long I stop along the way to pick up whatever is in season. The less I have to buy at the grocery store the better, and there is just something special about eating seasonally. Everything tastes so good! And fresh produce preserved in season runs a close second.
RG grows lots of different veggies and fruit, so my stops are predicated by what other locals have that we don’t. One farm grows wonderful kiwi; it’s on my list from November through till February. Another place grows delicious organic cherries. In early summer as soon as their ‘Cherries for Sale’ sign goes up, they get a visit from me. The cherries always sell out completely in less than a week. I usually stop at Dan’s Farm Market too, he grows a wide variety of unsprayed food, if we’ve eaten all our broccoli for example, or our lettuce has bolted and turned bitter, I can get some there.
Then there is the little table at the end of a long driveway on Oldfield, steel cash can welded to its side, that in July and August proudly carries a selection of good sized mixed bouquets tied with twine, for the ridiculously cheap price of, (I kid you not) a TWOONIE! These twoonie bouquets always sell out before noon. I try to buy two.
Also starting in July each year, Wednesday becomes corn pickup day, right through until the crop is done. Resident Gardener grows sweet corn each summer, she has a nice patch growing now, but she doesn’t grow near enough to keep us in corn for the whole year. Luckily sweet corn grows incredibly well on our peninsula so it’s easy to get. There’s a place on my route that offers a baker’s dozen of peaches and cream corn picked that morning for twelve bucks, and worth every penny.
I buy enough on my Wednesday trips to see us through till next summer, and freeze it. It’s worth the trouble. Home frozen corn tastes about a million times better than store bought, and it’s so easy to do. We all love to sit down to a nice feed of summer sweet corn in the middle of winter!
This also means of course that Wednesdays are corn-on-the-cob days, which Dear Husband likes very much. I cook up a couple cobs for us to butter, salt, and gnaw on, and in the same pot of boiling water I blanch the rest of my bakers dozen for 3-4 minutes, plunging them into ice water to cool quickly. After dinner I stand each blanched, cooled ear in my trusty Angel-food cake pan, and slice off the kernels. If I had a table with a hole in it, I could just set my pan above it, push the cobs through, and the kernels would effortlessly strip off, like you see on the internet, but I don’t. Maybe one day.
From there its into a freezer bag and then the freezer. All in all it takes about twenty minutes each week to process my bakers dozen. I used to spread the kernels carefully on cookie sheets and then bag when frozen, to keep each separate, but I’ve learned that if I just reach into the freezer and shake up the bag a few times while it’s freezing up I can cut the cookie sheet step out entirely.
By October my freezer is bursting with corn and lots of other homegrown and local food that we usually manage to finish over the winter. The bits and pieces we don’t get through by the time the season rolls around again go to lucky chickens. But they never get any sweet corn, it’s so darned tasty it’s usually all gone by May.