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Friday, September 16, 2011

Gleaning





cornfieldbare
Bare field? Look at the speck, center left, right at the edge of the photo!

While driving through the country in search of a business, I spied a field, yes, with my little eye. My little parsimonious eye is always on the lookout for free food, either for me or hens. Am I cheap? Yes, but it affects no one but me on this day.

cornfieldear

See the ear of corn on the ground? I saw that from inside the car as I turned onto the edge of the field to turn around. It occurred to me--this was a corn field mostly devoid of corn and stalks. Just "stobs" remained.

cornfieldstobs


See the "stobs." It was dangerous for me to walk amongst these. For one thing, I had on sandals. It would be like stepping onto a knife, a blunt, strong knife if one of these slipped up past the edge of the sandal and cut my foot. Plus, I just stumble around, hobbling on uneven ground. I still have vertigo.

Have you ever heard of "stobs?" This is a Southern US word from "stub," or "stubble."

When I was just over a year old I was walking with my mother in a field of stobs where things had been cut...don't know what. As I had just learned to walk, I tripped and fell face-first onto a stob that caught me under my eyebrow, narrowly missing my eye. My mother said she thought my eye was punctured. I still have quite a large scar. Maybe you learned a new word today.

cornfieldcob
What critter got this ear?
This cob has all the kernels stripped by something. I mused as to what it could be. There are no squirrels in the country.

cornfieldpumpkins

Aha, pumpkins! These looked a bit gnarly, so I asked if he had any that I could give to my three hens.

cornfieldpumpkinswagon

The owner of this store said all the pumpkins he had outside had worms because he did not spray them. When I asked if I could have some for my hens, he said, "Take a couple." I took two. Well, exbf got them into the car.

Chicken cantaloupes
Then, another guy gave me several cantaloupes. I managed to cut enough from the good cantaloupe for exbf for dinner and some to take home. I don't eat cantaloupe.

I threw down an ear of the hard corn that I gleaned for the hens. They ignored it and came begging, following me to the house as I went inside. I came back, got the ear and put it in their pen. When they are in their pen for longer than they like, they often eat things they complain about on the outside.

cornfieldcolander
"Maybe a bug is better."

Later, I came back with a colander of the corn. They just ignored the exposed kernels.


cornfieldcornground
"The service is great here."

When I shelled it for them, scattering kernels on the ground, they eagerly ate it. Spoiled hens! Can you see the kernels of corn on the ground in the picture above? Next thing you know, I will have to put them in my lap and feed them from my hand. 

cornfieldsprout
Sorry about the focus
When there were worms as I shucked and shelled the corn, I jumped, and shrieked as I threw down the ear. I looked more closely. Can you see the "worms?" Kernels of corn are sprouting. Maybe I should save this to plant next year. Nah, probably won't come true to the ears I picked up for the hens. I have to keep the ears inside or the squirrels would finish them off in a morning before I got up. 

Your turn
Do your hens turn down dried ears of corn? Who knew hens could be so spoiled? Do you ever glean for yourself or your animals? Have you ever seen corn sprout? Have you ever heard of "stobs?"

5 comments:

  1. No to all!
    But you have an eagles eye. I woud have missed it myself. Good job!

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  2. sandals in a cornfield...yikes! love this post!

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  3. Dmarie, It was pretty harrowing. But, I wear sandals most of the year. I should carry shoes so that I can change since I am always getting into something where sandals are totally inappropriate.

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  4. Yes, our hens would. I can just see them turning their beaks up at it!! They'd probably like the corn to be picked off the cobs, just like yours.
    Didn't occur to be how dangerous those stobs could be - yes, I learnt a new word today :D)
    Love how you gleaned the pumpkins and canteloupe too!

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  5. Susan,
    I put the hens out of the house and onto the back porch like I do every morning. However, I did not go back out in a few minutes to feed them. I went out after about 30 minutes of noise on the back porch. They were helping themselves to corn from the bag and some ears of corn that a squirrel must have dragged from the bag. They CAN eat dried corn from the cob if I don't go to them. Tonight, they got a fresh ear, broken in thirds. They love that soooo much better. LOL
    Linda

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