Growing Ornamental Corn Brings Task of Harvesting

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Photo By Lori from Rye, New York
Harvesting ornamental corn is a rewarding fall chore.

It is the best of chores; it is the worst of chores. Harvest time at our suburban Westchester, New York, home marks the successful end to a long, hot summer of tough weather and persistent bugs.

We grow ornamental corn, and pulling back the husks to reveal a dazzling display of autumn color is rewarding. However, there can oftentimes be kernels that are severely damaged.

Even worse is if you find an earwig or two still chomping away on your beautiful kernels. I know we need insects in the natural cycle of plant-grow-decay, but earwigs make me jump each and every time I come face to face with one. Maybe I should turn our ducks loose among the harvested stalks?

Apparently, birds will eat the nasty-looking critters, and more power to them. Unless it’s a lobster, I’m certainly not going to eat something with a pincer on it. Well, at least not on purpose!

Rye, New York

Read more stories about autumn chores inAutumn Farm Work: The Best and Worst Chores.