Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bay Tree and Corn Harvest

Up on the hill where we pasture our goats grows a west indian bay tree...

big and lovely and much too tall for me to reach...

it is my husband who will bring down a small branch for me...
whenever I need to dry some leaves for using in teas and cooking
I also love to use it in flavoring our cocoa tea

our tree was flowering when I snapped these photos
love having my own bay tree because it is so nice to use the fresh leaves

with the rains in recent days...
the bush has been growing faster than we can keep up with

but when my husband starts up that weed whacking motor...

not only do the chickens come running...

but so do the egrets...
abandoning the goats and cow for the moment...
to enjoy the insects and worms that appear from out of the bush...
as the weed whacker startles those little creatures from hiding

and we are now intently harvesting our corn at this time

they have long past their peak for eating and have become hard and dry...

making them great for harvesting to hang up and dry till all moisture...
is gone from each kernel

we grow the local corn that has been used for generations here on the island
it is a maize variety and not the delicate sweet corn known in the north

but, when this corn is very young and just before the tassel dries all the way...
the corn is very edible, delicious, sweet and juicy

it's a relaxing job that I do each day until the corn is all gone from the stalks

picking from 10 to 12 ears of corn

taking most of the husk off except for 2 or 3 pieces

this gives me the ability to tie the left husks of one ear to another

like so, as you see below

then, they are hung from the clothes line under the roof of the herb garden

this will not only keep them out of the rats' reach

but will also help them dry as long as it takes to get all moisture out

this prevents the corn kernels from becoming mildewed and rotted

once they are dry and hard...
the ears will be shucked and the kernels put away in a cool, dry place for...
both cornmeal and chicken feed

a job well worth the effort from tilling, sowing, weeding and harvesting
of course, the stalks still green will go to the cow who loves them...
and the dry stalks will be composted back into the soil

May your day or night find grace in the Lord.


  1. Hi Jean, I've never seen a bay tree that tall. I usually grow mine in a large flower pot. It is cute that the birds react to wacker motor. Animals are quick to learn new things. Thanks for sharing the pictures and have a blessed day.

  2. That is very impressive to hear how you dry the corn and it looks very pretty hanging up drying. Nice how the egrets come over to get the worms and insects stirred up by the trimming.

  3. I absolutely love grain corn and prefer it to sweet. I'm going to get you some blue Indian corn and hopefully a huge white-kerneled type as well.

    1. Oh nice! That would be great. Can't go wrong with corn. Thanks, David!!