Pioneers planted their fields with corn and would care for them as they would for a child, for the corn was a very important crop because it would provide the pioneer family with food to eat as well as fodder for the farm animals.
Summer was a time of hard work for the pioneer family as well as for today’s small family farms. It is a time to harvest the crops in the field in order to preserve the food and store it for winter eating.
Although I planted a quite bit of corn in the fields I only harvested a wheelbarrow full. It was a disappointing yield, but it is food nonetheless for our family and fodder for the farm animals.
I pulled the corn off the stalks and processed them for eating as well as to preserve them for later use. I also cut the corn stalks and set them aside to dry so as to use as fodder for the farm animals.
Pioneer women did not have the luxury to freeze corn for winter use as I do. Freezing corn is a simple process. The husks are removed from the freshly gathered corn, and then I remove the silk, and wash the ears. I cut the corn on the cob into smaller serving sizes and water blanch the corn for about 7 minutes in a pot of boiling water. I then promptly cool the corn in a bucket of ice water.
Next, I drained the corn and placed into freezer strength plastic bags. I labeled the bags and placed into the freezer.
A day of harvesting and preserving corn makes my body tired and achy at the end of a hot summer day, but I also feel pride and a sense of self-reliance when I see the freezer full of corn that is ready to be used in a hearty and nutritious meal.
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