fall crop

Flattened Fields of Corn

I used to like windy days.   Cool breezy air, the opportunity to wear my jackets and boots, the beginning of the holiday swing… 

But this is too much.   This past week we’ve experienced an early cold front, the arctic air blowing — and I don’t use the word lightly — clear down our state, bringing with it chilly nights and near frosty mornings.  While I love the nippy temps, I don’t care for the effect on my garden.  My rows of corn are hurting. 

Near flattened.  Amazingly the taller ones seem to be faring rather well, with the younger apparently most susceptible to the force of nature.  Always one to look for the brighter side, I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario.  At least I can “push” these smaller ones back into position — once the wind eases its sweeping strokes across the landscape.  If the older ones had been the ones to fall, my near ready ears of corn would have been lost.

Not good.  But this is an issue with corn.  And one that makes me wonder:  What do they do in Iowa and the central part of our country?  I have to believe wind and fronts are a problem there — what do they do to protect their crops?  Grow stronger, healthier corn?  I mean, I’m no expert.  It could be as simple as that, right?

Maybe.  Either way, corn have shallow roots and mine have been laid flat.

Mandie’s Sweet Potato Tangle

There’s something to be said about letting nature do her thing.  Take a look at these sweet potatoes (yes, that mass of vine is sweet potato!)  Can you imagine the golden harvest this woman is going to realize come fall?  Break out the casserole dishes, roll out the pie pans, we’re having sweet potatoes for dinner!  And dessert. 

Appetizers, anyone?

Now Mandie would not normally allow her garden to grow so wild and unmanageable, but she’s sort of displaced at the moment.  Air conditioner broke and in Florida, during August mind you, this is no minor issue.  Why, her two little boys could die of heat exhaustion if she didn’t move them out and quick!  But with a mother’s survival instinct comes a gardener’s back burner.  The sweet potatoes must now fend for themselves.

Which you see, they seem to do quite well.  Not surprising, since these babes are one of the easier veggies to grow.  Lovers of sandy soil, light water and minimal food — sounds more like a beach babe waif than sweet potato, doesn’t it? —  bothered by a few bugs, yes, but nothing they can’t survive.  Why, this crisis is a no-brainer for them!

last year's offspring

 

As if this example wasn’t proof enough, I have a wild child of my own, growing with abandon in the opposite end of the garden. 

Looks better than the ones I’m actually paying attention to and trying to grow!  

Go figure.

this year's crop

 

So if you want an easy, healthy vegetable to grow, consider the sweet potato.  Chocked full of anti-oxidants, Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), Vitamin C, as well as a good source of Vitamin B6, this one is an all out winner on the serving plate.