Corn in flower is a beauty to behold until it becomes blase; which it shouldn't. This is probably the largest source of food on planet Earth.
It feeds a lot of farmyard animals and many humans too; oddly I prefer other varieties to sweet corn.
Midsummer means corn in flower; it's one of the highlights of our gardening programme.
Whilst corn, or maize as we call it, is in some disrepute as a food high in starch, fattening and to be avoided, we love it. More, in the context of the wholesome diet, I never put on weight even after months of enjoying corn on the cob every day.
It's refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice, sugar, cakes and cookies that make us fat; highly refined maize meal, a staple in South Africa, is the reason why obesity reigns in our land.
Elsewhere in the world it's mostly refined wheat flour is the cause of so much suffering; we see it everyday at the chiropractic coalface; painful hips, knees and feet.
At the medic's office it's high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
Refined starches are what keep us quacks in business.
And even there, brown rice is a wonderful food, just as 100% wheat flour is; so we unashamedly enjoy our corn on the cob.
Today, the end of the second week in January we enjoyed our first four cobs; it's been a long time since I planted them in Spring, but so worth the wait.
And now two months later, we are half way through the crop; there's little sign of fall armyworm thanks to the hens; they too get three of four cobs a day.
There is a sign of Stealth, our age old fiend the vervet monkey, though; given a chance he'll cause havoc; yesterday he took half a dozen cobs.
Corn in flower boggles the mind; each of those tassels ends in one pip; in the summer garden you can see a shower of pollen raining down on those anthers. It's all about fertilisation.
I've enjoyed watching several different species of birds, most commonly the weavers, feasting on the pollen this summer; they help with the pollination by spreading it far and wide.
Corn like most vegetables, the exception being the butternut family, for example, lose their flavour very quickly after being reaped.
Old corn is deadly dull, and nutritionally far less protective against disease, but straight from the summer garden to the pot, it's one of the highlights of every lunch in our green home; like bread we never tire of it.
Be assured, 100 percent wholewheat bread and fresh corn on the cob are not the cause of your obesity. Learn about the meaning of the term glycemic index, and apply it to your meals, and you can delete the word diet from your vocabulary.
Drop your cobs into a little boiling water, cover with a lid and turn the heat up and they'll be done in about five minutes; when we can smell them, we know they are cooked.
According to Harvard Health, the glycemic index of sweet corn on the cob is only 48; that's low; it's not fattening. Our white maize will be even lower.
Surprisingly adding a little butter lowers the glycemic index even further.
Once you see corn in flower, it's only a few weeks until you can start to enjoy excellent food as often as you like. It's particularly rich in a phytochemical called zeaxanthin that is found in very high concentration in the macula of the eye; together with the lutein in dark green leafy vegetables, they will prevent you from getting macular degeneration, the leading cause of adult onset blindness.
Enjoy the fruit of your corn in flower; it's very healthy; and delicious provided it's picked young and cooked within a few hours; preferably within fifteen minutes.
One doesn't need a vegetable garden trellis for corn; the plants are very well anchored in the ground. However we like to grow climbing beans and limas near the corn for the nitrogen they fix in the soil.
Corn and beans! Growing lima beans means we can enjoy succotash every year. I like to toss in a jalapeno to spice it up a bit.
This is our quick succotash recipe.