Happy Fourth of July

Are you ready for this?

Corn, July 3, 2014

Corn, July 3, 2014

The corn is tasseling! And it’s way higher than my knees!

The tassels — those golden doo-dads at the topmost part of the plant — are where the pollen comes from. They fall onto the silk on top of the individual ears of corn (or else they’re helped along by man) to pollinate the corn and help it grow.

Here, take a closer look:

Tassels, July 3, 2014

Tassels, July 3, 2014

Some cornfields in my area hire temporary workers (usually teenagers) for a couple of weeks to detassel the plants. From what I understand, it’s hot and tiring work, but it can pay decently — and for many kids, it’s a “first job” and a rite of passage to steadier summer employment.

The field I photographed (to my knowledge) doesn’t use teen work crews for detasseling purposes. (Detasseling keeps the corn from pollinating itself). Perhaps they’re not trying to produce hybrid corn?

At any rate, as you can see, the plants are headed for a bumper crop, provided the weather continues to be favorable.

Happy Fourth of July!

P.S. I’m taking a few days off to enjoy the festivities, but I’ll be back soon. And I’ll think of you as I’m enjoying some fresh watermelon!

27 thoughts on “Happy Fourth of July

  1. Happy 4th! And – uh – thanks for the memories. I did a little detasseling in my day, but I didn’t last long. Before a series of allergy shots, I was seriously allergic to corn pollen! I moved to a job as clerk in a retail music store, and was much happier!

    • I’d have definitely liked working in a music store over detasseling! I’ve seen those kids laboring in the fields — they look hot and tired, but not too unhappy overall. I guess the pay is compensation enough. And at least it’s short-lived, letting them do something else with the rest of their summer!

  2. WOW Debbie, that corn sure has grown FAST! Those stalks are so hearty and beautiful looking. Puts me in the mood to eat some corn on the cob!

    HAPPY 4th of July, my friend. Enjoy the festivities!

    • I, too, can’t believe how fast the corn has grown this year! It seems like just yesterday they were out in the fields with their huge planting machines. Once again, we’ve been fortunate in getting just the right amount of sunshine and rains at just the right time to produce a healthy crop. I wish I could eat corn on the cob — it just doesn’t agree with me. Enjoy some for me, okay?!

      Happy weekend to you, Ron!

  3. Love corn on the cob. A few years back I discovered if you freeze it on the ear (brush the silk off and wrap husk back around) in ziplock bags…it tastes freshly picked when you cook it months later.

    • What a great tip, Suzi — thank you! I haven’t eaten corn on the cob in many moons, but I’m pretty sure that’s similar to what we used to do with it (though I don’t remember leaving the husks on). Happy Fourth to you and yours!

    • Kim, you know good and well that I’d never venture into a fully grown cornfield! The snakes, the bugs, the pollen — yuck. Oh, and since it’s taller than I am, I imagine it would be a bit of a maze(!!) trying to find my way out, heehee!! Happy Fourth!

    • Thanks for hopping over, Barb. I promise, I’ll get tired of photographing cornfields and talking about corn plants soon! I don’t know why I’ve been so fascinated with them this year — probably has something to do with how FAST they’re growing!!
      Happy Fourth to you and yours!

  4. Happy 4th of July to you!! I’m an Aussie so we do not celebrate the 4th of July Holiday – although recently we did celebrate Territory Day – July 1. Wonderful day and evening with fireworks for everyone to enjoy!

    Although I imagine that they have corn in other areas of Australia, we do not have it here. We do have Mango farms and that always provides a very decent income for a very hard days work for backpackers or kids (of legal age 15 and up) to earn some pocket money and get an introduction to the work force 🙂

    Good start either way! Hope you have wonderful time celebrating over the holiday!

    Miss Lou

    • Happy Belated Territory Day — that’s my sister’s birthday, too, so you see, I *was* celebrating, ha! You don’t have corn in Australia?? Gee, I guess I never thought about that. Do they import any? I used to love it drenched in butter, but sadly, it doesn’t agree with me any more. Fresh mangoes sound delightful, though, and you’re right — everybody needs an introduction to the world of work. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you did!

      • I am confident that we do grow corn in Australia, just not in the Northern Territory – which is the part that I live in. (Sorry I was not clearer)

        Up here, we generally grow things like Mango’s, and Bananas – fruits and vegetables that grow well in tropical environments 🙂

        I’ve not personally ever picked fruit (not on mass) the one time I did climb up a tree to pick a mango was the time I realised I was allergic to them (and their sap)


        • Okay, that makes more sense 😉
          My mom is highly allergic to corn pollen; every year she fights it by keeping the windows shut and the A/C on. I inherited some of her allergies but mine are more to dust, mold, and such. They’re no fun, huh?

    • Ah, Professor, I’m glad it appeals to you. As a kid, I loved it, but I haven’t touched it in years. Not even popcorn (though I do love smelling it!).
      Enjoy your Fourth of July!

  5. Wow, I can’t believe the corn is this high already! Though I never detassled corn, it was certainly part of the rites of passage of generations of teens in my part of Illinois.
    Can’t wait to enjoy my first bite of home – corn on the cob.

    • Pat, this is probably as tall as I’ve ever seen it — this early in the season. They must be doing a good job creating hybrids and such, though one has to wonder if all those modifications are good for either people or animals!

  6. Detasseling, sounds like something a stripper does. I had no idea about this part of corn growing. I love corn. And the freezing tip was a good one! ^ I had watermelon today, thank you. Happy 5th of July. Hope you enjoy your weekend.

    • I’d heard about detasseling, but I never participated in it. While the money might have been nice as a teen, sweating in a hot cornfield wasn’t exactly my idea of fun!

  7. I always look forward to your photos and I’m grateful since I don’t get to see those things. Thank you for taking the time to post and share them.
    PS- the freezing tip sounds great…I’m going to try it.

  8. Of course seeing your photos reminds me of Curly singing, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” while moseying on his horse by the cornfield. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye. Remember when he sings that? Anyway, your photos look great and the corn appears quite tall, indeed. Back when I lived in Seattle, we grew corn in a city patch that we had. There is nothing on earth as good as corn right off the vine. That is the best way to eat it. Cooked of course. It’s divine!

    • I still have trouble believing it’s so TALL, Monica — not so terribly long ago, getting corn to be knee-high by the Fourth of July was a big deal. Now, we have crops that one can almost see growing! I know we need to feed the world, but part of me is concerned about what they’re doing to those seeds to get that kind of growth.

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